What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment that can be applied to the face, hands and neck. It is used to improve the skin look. During this procedure, chemical solutions will be applied to the area being treated, eventually causing the skin to peel off. Once this happens, the new skin underneath is often smoother and looks less wrinkled and healthier.
What are the problems treated by chemical peels?
Chemical peels are used to treat certain skin conditions or to improve your appearance by improving the color and texture of your skin.
Chemical peels are most commonly used on your face, neck, or hands. It can help reduce or improve:
• Fine lines under your eyes or around your mouth, wrinkles from sun damage, aging and genetics.
Certain types of acne.
• mild scarring.
• Sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, uneven skin tone.
• Precancerous scaly patches called actinic keratosis.
•Rough skin, dull complexion.
•Dark spots (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills.
You’ll work with your dermatologist to determine the depth of the peel. This decision can vary depending on your skin condition and treatment goals.
Sagging, puffiness, deep scars, deep facial lines, and severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels. If these are the problems you’re experiencing, other cosmetic surgical procedures, such as carbon lasers, a face-lift, a brow lift, an eye lift, or soft tissue fillers would be better options. A dermatologist can help determine the best treatment for your condition.
What type of chemical peel can I get?
There are three different types of chemical peels that you can get. They include:
Superficial exfoliation, which uses mild acids such as alpha hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate. It only penetrates the outer layer of the skin.
A medium peel, which uses trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid to reach the middle and outer layer of the skin. This makes it more effective for removing damaged skin cells.
Deep peeling, which completely penetrates the middle layer of the skin to remove damaged skin cells; Often used in this type is phenol or trichloroacetic acid.
Is chemical peeling good for all skin types?
In general, peels can be used on all skin types. However, if you have a darker skin tone, you will be at greater risk of having dark spots on your skin after treatment. This condition is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If your skin is naturally darker in color, you may want to get advice from a dermatologist about other less sensitive treatments to reduce your risk of developing hyperpigmentation.
Chemical peels may also not be recommended if you:
• You have a history of abnormal skin scarring.
• You have skin diseases or taking medications that make your skin more sensitive.
• You cannot stay away of the sun for the recovery period.
How do you prepare for a chemical peeling session?
Before the session, you will first consult with a skin care specialist. During this visit, he or she will help you determine the best treatment option for you. He or she will talk to you in detail about the specific type of peel you’ll have, and will ask you about anything that might interfere with the peel. This may include whether you have taken acne medication, and information about whether or not you scar easily.