With summer coming to a close, your patients may be looking to erase summer skin damage with thoughts of the upcoming holiday season. One glance at social media and influencer feeds grants access to the ongoing concerns of achieving healthy, glowing skin. This peek at perfection, combined with the conversion of the workforce to a remote model and the (over)use of Zoom and Google Meets, and we are all reminded of our real and perceived aesthetic shortcomings. Custom chemical peels allow patients to start anew, as the dermis sheds, and a fresh, vibrant complexion presents itself. Let’s be candid: Shedding some part of 2020 is quite appealing to most people at this point! Compounded chemical peels offer an affordable option, with much bang for the buck at a time when sensitivity to finances is of critical importance to patient retention.
Using In-Office Peels to Treat Skin Damage
As each peel must match your patient’s needs, a bespoke dermatologic approach is highly recommended. This customization allows the clinician to remain responsive to the skin’s reactions and ensure that the peel is effective and safe while delivering the desired results.
There are several chemical peel options to reverse skin damage, control the dreaded “maskne” (acne incurred by wearing a mask), and achieve overall improvement. Whether your patient decides to take advantage of a prolonged work from home experience by undergoing a medium to deep chemical peel or they are looking for a no-downtime refresh, VLS and New Drug Loft’s menu of chemical peels has you covered.
Choosing a Chemical Peel Is Important, Following is a Brief Glossary
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) 10-80%: TCA has higher efficacy than other common peeling agents like salicylic acid and glycolic acid and is better suited to rejuvenate skin in one treatment. A single, light peel can brighten skin and reduce large pores, but many of your clients will require multiple lighter peels to notice significant changes in their skin’s appearance. For instance, TCA is well-suited to treat acne scars over multiple treatments. Note that TCA at low doses (up to 20%) is considered a light peel; above that, it is a medium to deep peel with different aftercare requirements. A structured course of medium TCA peels can significantly improve the skin without requiring extensive downtime or exposing your patient to the associated risks of permanent skin changes associated with a deep TCA peel. TCA peels are contraindicated in patients using retinoid creams or medications. It is vital to consult with your patients to establish whether they require a pre-TCA regimen.
- Glycolic Acid 20-50%: A glycolic acid peel is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) chemical exfoliation treatment, and it’s an excellent choice to combat aging, treat acne, and “maskne”, and lighten skin discoloration. Glycolic acid removes the epidermis to reveal the smoother, younger skin underneath by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Glycolic acid is a well-studied molecule with data to support its collagen-building benefit, which, subsequently, creates a skin-thickening benefit over time. In-office peels may be applied once per month during the initial treatment. It is best to start with lighter peels and then switch to once every three to six months depending on the patient’s needs and the peel’s strength. Glycolic acid peels are contraindicated in patients with Rosacea or those taking prescribed acne products.
- Salicylic Acid 20-30%: Topical salicylic acid is an anti-bacterial beta acid that assists with the treatment of skin blemishes in people who have acne and “maskne”. Salicylic acid dissolves keratin plugs and regulates cellular turnover, making it an effective option for blackheads, whiteheads, and congested pores. Classified as a keratolytic agent, salicylic acid may also be used to treat skin conditions that involve scaling or overgrowth of skin cells, such as psoriasis. Salicylic acid should not be used alongside abrasive soaps and cleansers or combined with other topical acne products unless under the supervision of a medical professional.
- Jessner Peel (Resorcinol 14% / Salicylic Acid 14% / Lactic Acid 14%): The textbook Jessner Peel and iterations thereof are often the first choice for treating acne and reducing the appearance of freckles, sun damage, dark spots, and scars. It is typically applied as a medium peel, as it is capable of removing cells from the top layer of the epidermis and the upper portion of the dermis. It can also be applied as a superficial peel with a single-coat application, providing a faster healing time but requiring multiple treatments to achieve the results of a deeper peel. Jessner Peel is safe to use on Fitzpatrick skin types IV, V, and VI without increasing the risk of associated damage. The Jessner Peel is contraindicated in patients with very fair or sensitive skin.
VLS Pharmacy and New Drug Loft provide dermatologists and other skincare clinicians with custom in-office peels, re-brightening blends, and efficacious add-ons, including retinoic acid boosters and hydroquinone. As the permutations are numerous, it is worth reviewing the peel menu to understand the options. Contact us here to request our Preparation & Service Catalog.
Custom In-Office Peels, Pre-Peel Prep, and Aftercare for Skin Damage and “Maskne”
Prepping skin prior to chemical peels greatly impacts results. Whether the goal is to increase skin porosity by using a retinoid or tackle tyrosinase production with hydroquinone, we custom compound topical formulations to prep skin pre-peel.
After-peel care varies based on peel depth. Light chemical peel aftercare typically consists of serums, moisturizers, or ointments that are free from fragrance. Our pharmacies compound topical hyaluronic acid (HA) serum with two types of HA to replenish the skin by drawing moisture into the area. For medium and deep chemical peels, recovery is a bit more nuanced as skin is red, inflamed, peeling, and tender, making post-peel care imperative to proper healing and for ultimately achieving the desired result. VLS Pharmacy and New Drug Loft also compound a petrolatum-free ointment for use after aggressive chemical peels. The formula is based on our extensive compounding knowledge for wound care and utilizes key ingredients such as glycosaminoglycans and panthenol.
As all chemical peels leave the skin more susceptible to sun damage, it is vital that you counsel all patients apply a high-quality sunscreen and to avoid additional exfoliation for several days after a peel.
Reach out to our team to learn about best practices and to partner with our experts on custom peels for your dermatology patients.
All medications from VLS Pharmacy and New Drug Loft are prepared in a lab that follows safety and quality standards per our status as a 503A pharmacy.