As we age, the accumulated effects of sun, pollutants, acne, and scarring can damage our skin and cause us to look older than we actually are. One way to treat and repair the skin is with a chemical peel.
Chemical peel uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. Chemical peel is helpful for those individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation.
Chemical Peel restores wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented or sun-damaged facial skin using a chemical solution to peel away the skin’s top layers. Superficial epidermal peels (chemical peels) such as Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) exfoliate the upper layer of the epidermis. The more moderate deeper peels such as TCA penetrate slightly deeper.
Chemical Peel is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons — to enhance your appearance and your self-confidence. Chemical Peel may also remove pre-cancerous skin growths, soften acne facial scars and even control acne.
Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it.
The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the out and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells.
The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration.
It also can be used to smooth rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis.
Tricholoracetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells.
The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance.
The procedure is used on the face and only can be performed once.
Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, chest, arms, legs, and hands.
They can be used to:
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
- Improve the appearance of mild scars
- Treat certain types of acne
- Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills
- Improve the look and feel of skin
- Repair sun damage and reduce uneven pigmentation on the neck and chest
Generally light-haired and fair skinned people are the best candidates for chemical peel. The procedure does not work as well on dark-skinned patients.
The procedure is not recommended for individuals with infections, active skin disease, cut or broken skin, sunburns or active Herpes simplex 1 sores.
Other counter-indications include patients who are :-
- Nursing or pregnant.
- Have taken Accutane in last six months.
- Have psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis or rosacea.
- Have used Retin-A, Renova, prescription skin care products, products that contain ascorbic acid, bleaching or skin-lightening agents or other acid-based products in the last 48 hours.
After your chemical peel you can expect to leave the solution on your skin for a set amount of time, depending on the type of peel you receive. (For medium depth peels this time frame is often approximately 4 hours.)
Over the next several days you will notice your skin start to peel as if you’ve had a bad sunburn.
This peeling typically peeks about 3 days post-peel, with the most important thing to remember during this process is NOT to pull the skin away.
Let the skin exfoliate naturally and use products as directed during this time.
Worry not! You can always tell our dermatologist for any discomforts
Chemicals peels sting but do not cause a great deal of pain.
The gentlest peels use alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, lactic or fruit acids are also gentle. They may cause stinging, redness, irritation and crusting but as the skin begins to adjust all these problems will lessen.
Trichloroacetic acids are used for stronger peelings. They remove wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems.
Phenol is the strongest of all treatments and removes deep lines and wrinkles on the face.
These type of treatments sting more than those with the gentler acids. After the treatment there may be redness, swelling and irritation but the use of creams and gels will reduce these effects.
Also the doctor may prescribe medicines that will help relieve the problems after the peel.
There is no downtime associated with the Glycolic Peel. The TCA peel has a recommended downtime of one to seven days. Formation of new skin occurs within seven to 21 days.
Patients can resume normal activities in two to four weeks.
Please note that, Chemical Peel is a permanent procedure, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages. So, needs adjustment.
SIDE EFFECTS :-
Patients may experience temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness or an acute sensitivity to the sun which all returns to normal on it’s own after a few days.
Tiny whiteheads may appear temporarily, as well as infection, scarring, flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores but all these complications are rare. Skin color lightening is another potential complication of chemical peel.