A Guide to Chemical Peels
What Is A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a skin treatment which is used to improve and smooth out the surface of the facial skin. A chemical solution is used to remove top layers of skin which allows the dead surface skin to peel off. The peeling process leads to new skin growth which is usually smoother, healthier and less wrinkled compared to the old skin. Chemical peels should be performed by aesthetic professionals such as aesthetic doctors, nurses and beauty therapists.
Which Peel is Right For Me?
There are three different types of peel, superficial, medium and deep peels, categorised by the strength of the acid solution used in the peel and how deeply they penetrate the skin. Deeper peels penetrate the skin further and would require greater recovery time.
Superficial Chemical Peel?
Superficial peels are a good option for many people as they have a gentler effect, require no pain relief, and can be used in more skin types, including darker skin tones, with little or no “down time” or recovery time. Whereas medium and deep chemical peels cannot be used in darker skin types and it may also take a few weeks for the skin to recover from the effects of the peeling, inflammation and redness.
What Skin Conditions are Peels used to treat:
- Acne- Superficial chemical peels exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to be removed more effectively, excess oils on the skin are also removed. This action unblocks hair follicles and pores and reducing the appearance of pimples and improving skin texture that is damaged by acne.
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles- especially under the eyes and around the mouth in sun damaged or ageing skin.
- Rough skin Texture- chemical peels can improve rough skin texture by increasing the amount of collagen in the upper layer of the skin.
- Lentigines (large freckles) which appear as dark spots on the skin, they are also called liver spots, or age spots- Large freckles can develop as a result of sun exposure and are present on sites which are exposed to excess sun such as face and arms and neck. A course of chemical peels can lighten large freckles and improve the appearance of sun damaged skin.
- Melasma- is a dark skin discoloration which appears as patches commonly found on the cheeks, nose, lips, upper lip, and forehead. It is common in women who are taking hormonal treatment in the form of contraceptives or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and pregnant women. A course of chemical peels can lighten the appearance of dark discoloured skin caused by melasma.
- Hyperpigmentation- caused by excess skin pigment in the skin which can result in uneven skin tone. Chemical peels can lighten and even out the tone and appearance of the skin.
- Superifical peels are suitable for ethnic skins.
- Superficial peels are also good preparation for medium and deep peels and are appropriate for serial applications and as a companion treatment for microdermabrasion or IPL. They can be performed prior to microdermabrasion if the skin can tolerate it to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.
Superficial Chemical Peels Cannot be Used for
- Superficial peels cannot eradicate deep lines and wrinkles, cure sagging skin due to sun damage or ageing or decrease the size of skin pores.
- Chemical peels should not be used in pregnant or breast feeding women
- If you have active cold sores or warts on the face
- If you have any inflamed rashes, skin reactions or open wounds on the skin
- Sunburn, need to wait 4 weeks after excessive sun exposure before having a peel
- If you have excessively sensitive skin, including atopic eczema or dermatitis, inflammatory rosacea in the area to be treated
- If you have a history of severe allergy or known allergy to the components of the peel including allergy to aspirin
- If you have taken Roaccutane (a medical treatment for severe acne), within the past 12 months
- If you have been treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the past 12 months
- If you have a history of keloid scarring
How Many Peels Do You Need?
Whilst you may see some very minor benefits after a single superficial peel, the best results are seen after a course of six peels, performed two weeks apart. Superficial peels are gentler and so the full benefits of the peels build up over a course of six treatments.
Do I Need to Prepare Before A Peel:
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Important Facts That You Should Know About Chemical Peeling
Chemical peeling is widely gaining popularity because it really helps you to get a smooth and glowing face. It is very beneficial for improving sun-damaged skin and aging skin that has developed blemishes, deep wrinkles, redness, precancerous lesions, deep pigments, facial veins, cancerous lesions and spotting. Chemical peel is also good for rejuvenating and exfoliating your damage skin.
This body treatment uses very good techniques that cause the dead skin to peel off. The skin texture that you achieve after the peeling process is very smooth and less wrinkled. There are various types of chemical peels that are available these days, some can be bought without a medical license while others require the help of professional plastic surgeons and dermatologist.
In this article, my main focus would be to provide you all the essential information about the chemical peeling process.
1. Benefits of the Chemical peeling process
Chemical peeling process is highly advantageous that is why it is gaining popularity. Some of its benefits are stated below:
- This process can really help in reducing wrinkles and fine lines around your mouth and eyes.
- Wrinkles that are developed due to sun damage, genetic factors and aging are also cured by this process.
- Peeling reduces uneven pigmentation and also stops the occurrence of pimples and acne.
- It can greatly improve the texture of the rough skin surface.
- Improves your appearance and gives you a youthful and fresh appearance.
2. Types of chemical peels
There are different types of chemical peels that are suitable for different candidates. Some of the most popular ones are stated below:
- Beta hydroxy acid peels
- Retinoic Acid Peel
- Alpha Hydroxy Peels (AHAs)
- Phenol Peels
- Trichloroacetic Acid Peels(TCA)
- Jessner’s Peel
3. Skin problems cured by chemical peels
Chemical peeling has the efficiency to cure various skin problems like dilated pores, pigmentation, skin discoloration, lentigenes, Melasma, acne and freckles.
4. Chemical peel procedure
Chemical peeling is a simple procedure which does not requires hospitalization. This procedure can be performed by maxillofacial surgeon, plastic surgeons, otolaryngologist and dermatologist. The type of peeling and its concentration wholly depends on the skin of a person. After taking these things into consideration the skin is first cleaned with soap water. After the skin is cleaned, chemical agents like arbolic acid (phenol), trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid are applied on the full face of just on the lesion. This procedure helps in the regeneration of new skin.
5. Side effects
Although chemical peel is generally a safe procedure, certain people experience permanent or temporary color change of their skin. Many people also get scars on some areas of their face after undergoing this procedure.
What a Chemical Peel Can Do For You
There are so many products on the market that claim to improve the appearance of the skin, but perhaps one of the best out there is chemical peeling. Chemical peeling is normally performed on your neck, face or hands. This type of treatment consists of the use of a chemical solution that is applied directly to the skin that causes the skin to blister and then fall off eventually.
The new skin that is revealed is usually smoother with less wrinkling then the skin that was initially treated. The new skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun, therefore you must stay out of the sun for a period of time to allow for proper healing. The new skin is just that, new, so it will be very sensitive – take good care of it.
Various peeling agents have been used by dermatologic surgeons for over the last fifty years, making them experts in performing various types of chemical peels. As with any procedure, you must have a thorough consult to determine which procedure is right for you.
What Can a Chemical Peel Do?
Chemical peeling is most commonly used for treating fine lines around the mouth and around the eyes. Chemical peeling can reduce or even completely eliminate wrinkles that have been caused by aging, sun damage and hereditary factors. There are some areas that are more difficult then others to treat, such as bulges, sags and wrinkles that are more severe. These types of flaws may require other types of cosmetic surgical procedures, such as brow lifts, face lift, eye lift or even a soft tissue filler.
Most people are not aware that mild scarring and certain types of acne can be treated with chemical peels as well. Also, pigmentations of the skin, such as sun spots, liver spots, age spots, blotching from birth control pills, freckles and skin that is dull or flat colored or textured, can be improved from chemical peeling.
There are other types of treatments that chemical peeling can be combined with to achieve the best results. Chemical peeling can be combined with such procedures as dermabrasion, resurfacing with lasers or soft tissue filler to help obtain cost-effective rejuvenation of the skin that is customized to the needs of the individual patient. Some other areas that may improve after a chemical peel are precancerous keratoses, sun damaged spots or scaling patches.
After a chemical peeling, new patches or lesions are less likely to show up. Usually, people that are fair skinned and/or have light colored hair are good candidates for such treatments as chemical peels. Even darker skin types can also experience positive results, depending on the types of skin problems they have encountered.
How Are Chemical Peels Performed?
Instructions prior to surgery may include stopping certain medications to reduce interference with the procedure or recovery time. The doctor may treat the skin to pre-condition the skin with topical pre-conditioning medications. Cleaning of the area with an antiseptic soap is usually required prior to surgery, generally the day prior to surgery.
Chemical Peel Facts – Is It Right For You
Nowadays, there are a lot of options available towards getting that youthful glow for your skin. From the most complicated of plastic surgeries, to a simple face lift or chemical peel – there are about a hundred options that one can choose from to remove dead skin cells and get rid of that old, wrinkled look to give your spirits a lift and your morale a boost.
1. Skin Damage
When we go out and get exposed to sunlight, the outer layer of our skin gets damaged and dead skin cells remain embedded on our skin, resulting from the dirt that gets stuck to the pores. Thus, as we grow old, the skin looks more dull and lifeless. When you add the acne scars, freckles and other facial blemishes, you really would like to have an option to restore that youthful glow that only movie stars seem to exude on screen, no matter how old or young they are.
2. What Is A Chemical Peel?
If you would not like to go for the surgical and more complicated procedures such as face lift and plastic surgery, chemical peel is definitely an option for you. There are three basic types of chemical peel that you can choose from, depending your individual need and skin type. Basically, a chemical peel is a procedure wherein the dead skin cells and the damaged outer layers of the skin are removed. There is that chemical word in the term because a chemical solution is used to smoothen or even out the texture of the skin. Eventually, the chemical applied causes the skin to peel off, hence the term chemical peel. This is typically done on the face, neck or hands. The procedure also enhances your overall look by removing the damaged outer skin layers. This is applicable and recommended for people with uneven skin tones, for people with wrinkles and facial scars from pimple/acne, and for people who just need to improve their skin texture.
3. Mild Peel
This procedure removes the superficial skin layer. This is the most skin-friendly type of peel and may be performed on all skin types. It is used to treat simple acne and pimple scars and uneven skin pigmentation. The chemical peel involves a dilute acid solution, which normally stays on the skin for a few minutes. After the chemical has been applied, the skin is neutralized with water, then the solution is wiped off. This type of peeling procedure produces a light peel, and will result to a smoother and brighter-looking skin and improved skin texture.
4. Medium Peel
This procedure goes a little beyond the superficial layer of the skin. After the treatment, the person undergoing the procedure will experience a sun-burned look and the skin might look chafed. The chemical solution stays longer on the skin, as compared to mild peels. This is applicable for people with more sun-damaged skin types, and can treat wrinkles as well as uneven skin pigmentation.
5. Deep Peel (RARELY USED)
As compared to the mild and medium-depth peel, the chemical used for this type of peeling goes through several skin layers. This can treat more pronounced skin pigmentations and wrinkles, as well as pre-cancerous growths. Moreover, this has more medical complications and considerations so it is better to consult a medical professional before undergoing a deep chemical peel. The procedure will definitely take a longer time, about more than an hour, for the chemical applied on the affected skin to take effect. However, the results are more glaring than the first two types.