Chemical peeling is used to improve the skin’s appearance by applying a chemical solution to the skin, causing the top layers of skin to separate and peel off. The new skin is smoother, less wrinkled, and may be more even in color.
What Can A Chemical Peel Do?
• Reduce fine lines, especially under the eyes and around the mouth.
• Treat mild scarring and certain types of acne.
• Diminish skin discoloration, such as sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, or blotchiness.
• Refresh skin texture and color.
How Are Chemical Peels Performed?
• Cleansing the skin with an agent that removes excess oils; eyes and hair are protected.
• Applying the peel to the designated location (face, neck, chest, hands, arms, or legs), using one or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol).
• Using the proper peeling agent (superficial, medium or deep) based upon the type of skin damage present and your desired results.
During a chemical peel, most patients experience a warm to hot sensation that may last about 5 to 10 minutes and may be followed by some mild tingling.
What Should Be Expected After Treatment?
This depends on the type of peel applied. The gentlest type of peel, a superficial peel, usually produces redness, which is followed by scaling that lasts three to five days. Medium-depth and deep peels can result a recovery period of seven to 14 days.
Are There Complications?
People with certain skin types have a risk of developing a temporary or permanent skin color change. This risk may increase if you take birth control pills, have been pregnant, or have a family history of brownish discoloration on the face. Persistent redness also may occur after a chemical peel and can last for months. Although very low, there is a risk of scarring after a chemical peel. If scarring does occur, it can usually be treated with good results. Proper precautions should be taken for patients with a history of fever blisters, cold sores or keloids.
What Are The Limitations of Chemical Peels?
• Cannot tighten loose or sagging skin.
• Does not remove deep scars.
• Cannot change pore size or remove broken blood vessels on the face; however, the procedure may improve the appearance of these conditions.