A chemical peel is a skin treatment designed to remove the superficial layers of skin and promote the grow of new, younger-looking skin. Chemical peels are most often used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and to lessen the appearance of scars, acne, and areas of skin discoloration on the face.
Types of Chemical Peels
Depending on the patient’s desired goals, chemical peels are performed using various solutions that can reach different depths of the skin. A light chemical peel is used to treat issues affecting the outermost layer of skin called the epidermis. The procedure can be used to correct uneven skin tone, dryness, acne, and superficial wrinkles. The procedure is typically repeated once a week for several weeks until the desired results are achieved. A medium chemical peel penetrates to the middle layer of skin called the dermis and is used to treat moderate wrinkles, skin tone issues, and acne scarring. It is often necessary to repeat the procedure after approximately a year to maintain the results. Deep chemical peels are typically used for patients with precancerous growths or deep wrinkles or scars. This type of chemical peel extends to the lower layer of the dermis. Choose a light, medium or a deep peel depending on your needs.
Are Chemical Peels for Everyone?
Individuals with skin concerns should consult an expert in dermatology to determine if a chemical peel is right for them. Chemical peels may not be appropriate for individuals who have recently taken certain acne medications, have a pale or freckled complexion, have a dark complexion, have a history of keloid scars, or certain skin conditions.
Do Chemical Peels Have Side-effects?
The most common side-effect following a chemical peel is redness at the site of the treatment. This can last up to several months in the case of a medium or deep peel. Rare complications include scarring, changes in skin coloration, and infections. Deep chemical peels use a substance called phenol, which has the potential to cause heart, liver, or kidney damage. To limit the risk, deep chemical peels are usually performed in stages of 10 to 20 minutes.
The treated area should be covered in new skin within approximately two weeks. There may be some residual redness for up to several months depending on the depth of the peel; however, this can normally be concealed with cosmetics. It may take several treatments before the effects of a light peel become apparent. The results are almost immediately noticeable after a medium or deep peel. After a chemical peel, it is important to protect the skin from sun exposure to prevent it from changing color. The results of a chemical peel are not permanent since the skin is still subject to the effects of aging and new sun damage.