Chemical Peels are one form of skin therapy used to make the skin smoother and more radiant. Chemical peels are applied mainly on the face but they are also applied on the hands or neck.
The chemical peel, or solution, is applied onto the skin. The chemical causes the skin to erupt and then it finally peels off, following which, a new skin emerges which is smoother and better. The new skin also has fewer wrinkles. Keep in mind; the new skin is a little bit sensitive to the sun’s rays. It is highly recommended to seek help from a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for such type of chemical peel procedures.
Other benefits seen after a chemical peel procedure are that the area of the skin damaged by sunburn also improves.
It is necessary that a person who has undergone this procedure should use sunscreen or sun block daily especially when going outside.
The main purpose of a chemical peels is to:
- Decrease the fine lines present under the eyes or around the corners of the mouth.
- Make the skin look finer than before.
- Reduce scar marks, to some extent.
- Treat some sorts of acne.
- Reduce melasma, freckles and age spots that may arise as a result of pregnancy or using birth control pills.
Types of Chemical Peels
There are many different types of chemical peels:
Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels
This is a mild form of peel, especially beneficial for the treatment of skin dryness, fine wrinkles, acne and uneven pigmentation.
Beta Hydroxy Acid Peels
It helps to remove dead skin cells and also treats acne, a treatment that has gained significant popularity.
Retinoic Acid Peel
It can only be performed by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. It is used to treat scars, wrinkles and problems of pigmentation.
These peels are meant to treat blotches, deep wrinkles and also remove precancerous growths. It is one of the strongest peels.
Formulated by the German dermatologist and is used to treat the intracellular bridges present between the keratinocytes.
Trichloroacetic Acid Peels
This peel is usually used on the darker-skinned people and is mainly the chemical peel for darker complexions. It removes wrinkles, blemishes and problems related to skin pigmentation.
Who Can Undergo a Chemical Peel Procedure?
The better candidates to receive this procedure are light-haired and fair-skinned, but the chemical peel also shows good results on darker skin as well.
The skin problems such as bulges, severe wrinkles and skin sags usually do not respond well to chemical peels.
It is usually performed in the clinic of the doctor or practitioner. He/she will cleanse your face (or area where you want peeling). The cleanser will also remove the excess oil. The dermatologist or skin expert will cover your hair as well as your eyes for protection, then the particular type of chemical peel will be applied.
Some people may experience burning or a tingling sensation, this is soother by the application of an ice compression. Painkillers can be taken, but pain only usually occurs in case of a deeper peel.
Peeling usually causes redness, after which scaling occurs, which then stops within 3 to 7 days. This procedure may need to be performed again until the required effect is attained. The usual time of the repeat of a chemical peel is within 4 weeks to 1 month.
Subsequent to the therapy, some peels may need bandaging to treat the skin. Bandages are generally taken off after a few days and may make the efficiency of the treatment better.
Risks and Complications
The chemical peel procedure enjoys little risk, but sometimes complications may arise. The biggest risk associated with this procedure is skin colour change, which may be either temporary or permanent. The use of birth control pills, pregnancy or a family history of problems associated with pigmentation may increase the risk of developing unusual pigmentation. Other possible complications of the chemical peel include:
- Skin atrophy
- White heads
- Prolonged erythema
- Change in texture
- Pigmentary alterations
Many of the complications associated with chemical peels become apparent during the process of healing. Risk of infection is also present. It may manifest itself as a purulent discharge, delayed healing of the wound, crusting, or ulcerations etc. Early acknowledgment and application of suitable antibiotics will stop the spread of infection, prevent scarring and also heal the skin.
Complications must be reported to your doctor. By doing so, you will get an early treatment and will also be safe from further problems and failure of treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Will a chemical peel really correct skin problems?
A. Yes, it will correct certain skin related problems and rejuvenate your skin. Usually in most cases, people will observe a visible improvement in the vitality of skin.
Q. How long will it take to cover a chemical peel?
A. It will take only half an hour and then chemical peel will be removed. For that reason it is given a name called “the lunch-time peel”.
Q. Does a chemical peel cause pain?
A. No, it is not painful. You may however experience burning or a tingling sensations. After its removal, your skin will feel fresh and devoid of any discomfort.
Q. How many chemical peel treatments should I have?
A. The treatment is usually repeated within 4 to 6 weeks. Repetition of the treatment is recommended until the desire effect is achieved.
Q. Is it possible that a chemical peel will make the thin skin thinner?
A. It won’t make the skin thinner but it will make it stronger and more durable. Chemical peels help to remove the dead skin cells and give hydration to the skin. After the procedure, skin looks plumper and better.
Q. What care should I do at home after a chemical peel?
A. Use a mild cleanser and clean your skin properly. You can apply green tea anti-oxidant serum if required. You may restart your normal skincare regime, three to five days after a treatment, as soon as the redness settles or no peeling remains.