Chemical peel is a technique that is used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. It is a treatment in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the damaged outer layer of the skin by causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off the skin. The newly regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Additionally, the new skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun. A chemical peel can effectively-
- Diminish the appearance of fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles on the face that has been caused by sun damage and aging
- Enhance the appearance of mild scars
- Treat certain types acne
- Reduce the signs of aging, patches, and other spots due to pregnancy or side effect of taking birth control pills
- Improve the appearance of the skin
Types of Chemical Peels
Based on the type of pigmentation and the severity superficial and deep peels are used to treat the condition. Usually, it takes 6-8 sessions 15 days apart to get good results.
- Sup Light Peels: These are alpha hydroxy acid peel. They penetrate up to superficial layer i.e. stratum corneum. They are used to improve the appearance of mild skin, discoloration and to treat acne.
Salicylic acid -20-30%
Mandelic acid - 10-20%
Glycolic acid - 20-30%
- Medium Depth Peels: This medium depth peels penetrate deep into the epidermis and goes up to the basal layer. This treatment is used to improve age spots, sun damage, and moderate skin discoloration.
Peels used: Glycolic, pyruvic acid, modified jessner, no melon fend.
- Deep Peels: This peel penetrates up to the dermis. They are used for deep skin rejuvenation and exfoliation for resistant stubborn pigmentation.
TCA – 30-50%
Glycolic – 70%
How is the Chemical Peel Treatment Performed?
The chemical peel treatment can be performed at a doctor’s office or in a surgery center and is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The professionals who carry on the procedure, firstly, cleans the skin thoroughly and then applies one or more chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, tri-chloro-acetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, etc. to small areas of the skin. This creates a controlled wound without letting the skin take its place.
However, during chemical peeling procedure, most of the people experience a burning sensation that may last for about five to ten minutes followed by a stinging sensation. A cold compress on the skin may ease that sensation. Candidates may also require a medication for pain before or after a deep peel treatment.
Recovering after Chemical Peel Treatment
The recovery period depends on the type of chemical peel treatment undergone by the patient. The immediate results are pretty much similar to that of a sunburned skin involving redness, scaling of the skin. Most of the patients experience these conditions within three to seven days. Mild peels may be repeated at an interval of one to four weeks until the desired appearance is achieved. The medium and deep peels may result in the swelling at the area of treatment. Patients will also experience blistering, skin turning brown, peeling of the skin over a period of 14 days. The deep peel treatment can be performed once but the medium depth peels may be repeated for six to 12 months if required.
Doctors may also instruct their patients to avoid sun exposure of the treated skin for several months after undergoing a chemical peel treatment procedure. Some skin types are prone to develop a temporary or permanent color change in the skin after undergoing a chemical peel treatment.