Virtually every single person on the planet ends up with forehead wrinkles at some point in their lives. Even young people in their twenties and/or thirties are not immune. By their very nature, forehead wrinkles tend to be highly visible, and they have an uncanny ability to make us look years older than we actually are.
Unlike some other facial lines and wrinkles which can quite often be hidden or partly hidden with the help of cosmetics, wrinkles on your forehead are often impossible to hide. They are also often deep wrinkles, which is in part due to the skin on your forehead being relatively thick. In more severe cases, these wrinkles can literally look like facial folds.
If wrinkles are only just starting to appear on your forehead, then you may of course be able to reduce them or slow down their progression with a good anti-wrinkle serum. However, if your forehead wrinkles are already quite deep, then I am sorry to say this, but no amount of cream or serum is going to eradicate them.
Some good quality skin care products may be able to lessen the appearance or reduce the severity somewhat, but they are not going to erase your wrinkles altogether. If you have already discovered this and come to terms with it, you may think that Botox is the answer. Unfortunately, Botox only provides a short-term solution, but let us take a brief look at Botox anyway.
Botox Wrinkle Treatments
Botox injections are often the “go-to” solution for lines and wrinkles, and particularly among the rich and famous. I would be lying if I said Botox injections don’t work, because they can provide truly spectacular results. For those of you who do not already know it, Botox injections work by paralyzing the muscles that are essentially connected to the skin surrounding your wrinkles.
Because Botox works by paralyzing the muscles, it can only be used effectively for treating lines and wrinkles that are related to muscle movements, such as forehead wrinkles. Botox cannot be used for treating things like eye bags, etc.
As I have already mentioned, Botox injections can produce stunning results, but they are expensive, and the results only last for a few months. This means that you will need to go for Botox injections roughly twice a year. Filler injections are a similar sort of scenario, in that results are also short lived.
Botox has been in use for so long, that the risk of something going wrong is virtually non-existent. Of course, there is some element of risk. Right, that’s enough about Botox, so let’s move on to the 3 types of chemical peel treatments I mentioned in the title.
Getting Rid of Lines and Wrinkles with Chemical Peels
If you have read any of my other posts, you will most likely know that I like to keep any and all chemicals as far away from my skin as possible. You may also know that I have actually already written a little bit about chemical peels in a previous post, so why would I want to write about chemical peels again? I am writing about them again because they work extremely well, and also because I want to provide a bit more information about the various choices you have if you decide to have one of these procedures done.
Not only can they produce astounding long-term results, but they are probably also the most cost effective skin treatment capable of reducing or even eradicating lines and wrinkles, including forehead wrinkles. The sort of chemical peel you have done will depend on the severity of your wrinkles, and on the area being treated. Okay, let’s take a look at your options:
Option 1 – Mild Chemical Peels
Mild chemical peels only remove the outermost layer of skin known as the epidermis. For this procedure, a relatively mild acid is applied to the skin. Salicylic acid is most commonly used for mild peels, but a number of other acids can be used, including lactic acid and citric acid for example. These peels are mostly used for treating acne and for gradually lightening pigmentation although they can also be used for treating very fine lines and wrinkles.
Shortly after the chemical solution has been applied, the skin being treated will begin to turn white. During this phase of the procedure, patients will more often than not experience a mild stinging sensation. When the time is right, the chemical solution will either be removed, or else it will be neutralized.
Recovery time is typically 4 to 7 days. You may also notice that the treated areas appear to be lighter or darker than usual, but this is nearly always only temporary.
Option 2 – Medium Depth Chemical Peels
With a medium chemical peel, the process is much the same as it is during a light peel, but it involves the use of different chemicals and also stronger chemical solutions. Glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid are typically the acids of choice. Shortly after the solution has been applied, the treated skin will also begin to turn white at which point a cold compress will usually be applied.
Most patients will feel some burning or stinging while the acid is working. Pain medication is generally not required, but patients are sometimes provided with a small hand-held fan to cool the area. With these peels, the chemicals do not need to be removed or neutralized.
Recovery time is usually 5 to 7 days, although the treated area may remain red for a month or more. Shortly after treatment has taken place, there will typically be some inflammation. This is then followed by some crusting and the appearance of darkish blotches before the new skin is finally revealed.
Medium peels can be used for treating acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars. They can also be used for reducing the appearance of fine lines, such as smile lines under eyes and very shallow wrinkles on your forehead.
Option 3 – Deep Chemical Peels
In most, if not all instances, patients are sedated prior to this procedure. Phenol is typically used for deep peels. The procedure is usually carried out in 15-minute segments in order to minimize your exposure to the phenol. The chemical solution is applied in the same way it is applied during light peels and medium peels.
As with milder peels, the treated skin will begin to turn a whitish or greyish color. For deep peels, the area which is going to be treated will be numbed using either a topical anesthetic or a local anesthetic. Very occasionally, a patient may be given a general anesthetic which means they will be asleep throughout the procedure.
Regardless of which type of anesthetic is used, patients are typically given an IV and their heart rates are closely monitored during the procedure. Deep peels quite often involve a short stay in hospital, mostly for observation purposes.
Deep peels cause severe swelling that is accompanied by a burning and/or throbbing sensation. If a deep peel has been used for laugh line removal, or for treating deep forehead wrinkles, it is quite common for the patient’s eyelids to shut due to the swelling.
Cysts and white spots also usually appear on the treated areas, and these can last for several weeks, while the resultant redness can last several months. However, new skin develops after approximately 14 days. While deep peels can be a rather unpleasant experience, they can produce significant cosmetic improvements.
What to Expect After Your Chemical Peel
As previously mentioned, light chemical peels may cause some lightening or darkening of the skin in the areas which have been treated. Medium peels, on the other hand, will generally cause mild swelling, crusting and the formation of temporary brownish blotches. The resultant redness can last for a month or more.
With deep peels being the most extreme form of chemical peel, the swelling is often severe, to the point where you may not be able to open your eyes for a few days. You may also experience blurred vision for a day or more once you are able to open your eyes. This is mostly likely to happen if the peel has been used to treat the area around your eyes, or it has been done to treat deep frown lines and forehead wrinkles.
What Are the Risks Associated with Chemical Peels
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chemical peels are very safe procedures, assuming you have them performed by an experienced board certified physician. Not all dermatologists and/or cosmetic surgeons have experience in this field, so it is crucial to find one that does have the necessary experience. This is even more important when it comes to deep chemical peels, considering that a botched treatment could result in permanent disfigurement.
Despite being considered a very safe procedure, there is naturally some element of risk and possible side effects. Let’s take a look at the main possible risks and side effects:
- Permanent Lightening or Darkening of the Skin – In some cases, this can be a big benefit, but it can also be a very unwanted side effect. People with darker skin tend to be the most at risk, and therefore it is imperative that you consult with a board certified physician.
- Permanent Scarring – The chances of being left with permanent scars are negligible providing that you have the procedure carried out by an experienced cosmetic surgeon. Permanent scarring is almost exclusively the result of a botched deep peel procedure.
- Skin Infections – Although very rare, chemical peels can occasionally cause bacterial infections and/or fungal infections. They can also sometimes cause flare ups in people who have herpes simplex.
- Heart, Liver and/or Kidney Damage – In very rare instances, deep chemical peels can cause damage to some internal organs, namely your heart, liver and/or kidneys. This is why deep peels are typically done in 15 to 20 minute segments so as to minimize your exposure to the phenol which is often used in deep peels.
Pre-Op and Post-Op Requirements
If you book a consultation with a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon, he or she will instruct you on what you will need to do, both before and after your chemical peel. They will also want to know if you are on any form of medication, or if you have recently been on medication. For example, you will be told not to use any type of topical treatment containing retinol or retin-A for at least 48 hours prior to your procedure.
Also, if you have been on Accutane for severe acne, you will need to come off it and then wait for 6 months before the procedure can be carried out. Your physician will also most likely tell you to take certain medication and to use one or more topical creams or lotions in the days or week following your treatment.
It is very important that you follow any and all instructions very carefully in order to enjoy the best possible results, and to minimize the risk of unwanted complications. This is particularly true when it comes to deep chemical peels.
What Peel Is Best for Me
Only an experienced and reputable board certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon is capable of telling you what sort of peel is best for you. According to the Mayo Clinic website, a light chemical peel can be good for treating fine lines and wrinkles, and also for improving both skin tone and skin texture. In many instances, multiple treatments may be necessary in order to achieve the desired results.
If you are already beginning to notice laugh lines at 20 or the first signs of forehead wrinkles, light chemical peels may well be sufficient for you. Medium chemical peels can be used for treating slightly deeper forehead wrinkles, and also for treating acne and for improving skin tone. Since medium peels remove skin cells from the epidermis and also from middle to upper part of the dermis, the skin must be allowed to heal and recover for at least 3 to 9 months before another peel can be done.
During a deep peel, skin cells are removed from the epidermis and also from the middle to lower part of the dermis. Deep peels really are deep, and they are a “once only” procedure. Once you have had a deep peel done, you cannot have any further peels done on areas which have been treated.
A deep peel may be recommended if your forehead wrinkles or other wrinkles are quite deep. Deep peels are also sometimes used for removing pre-cancerous skin growths and for reducing or removing scars. While I would love to tell you that deep peels can totally eradicate deep wrinkles, the truth is that they cannot. Deep chemical peels can greatly reduce the appearance and severity of deep wrinkles, but they cannot get rid of them altogether.
After a deep peel, the treated skin will have to be very well looked after, and it must be protected from the sun on a permanent basis. If you are considering having any type of chemical peel done, and especially a medium or deep peel, I strongly recommend that you find and use a really good range of skin care products.