The Effect

Chemical peel utilizes a chemical solution that strips away the skin’s top layers in order to restore skin that is wrinkled, blemished, sun damaged or unevenly pigmented. Chemicals such as AHA, trichloroacetic acid, or phenol are utilized to get rid of layers of damaged or aged skin in order to reveal revitalized skin.

The Procedure

Before undergoing the procedure, the dermatologist will assess your case and from there, decide on what is the most suitable solution to be used for your treatment. Time needed for a chemical peel is approximately 5 to 10 minutes for the entire face. No anesthesia is required for this.

The solution chosen would then be applied either to the entire face or to a specific area, for instance the crow’s feet area surrounding the eyes or the wrinkles around the mouth region. A sponge or a cotton pad may be used in applying the solution. On the other hand, a cotton swab or a brush may be utilized for smaller areas. The acid is then gently and skillfully applied to the patient’s skin. After a certain amount of time, the dermatologist or the skin care specialist neutralizes the applied acid and removes the product. The skin is then cleansed and moisturized.

Occasionally, a membrane is placed in order to aid in the healing process and for the patient’s comfort as well. This, however, is used more for thorough peels such as the phenol peel, Obagi Blue, laser, among others.

Best Candidates

Chemical peel works most effectively on fair, thin-skinned areas with wrinkles that are only superficial.

Treatments

  • AHA Peel
  • Glycolic Acid Peel
  • Phenol Peel
  • Obagi Blue
  • Laser
  • TCA

Side Effects

Side effects may include throbbing, tingling, redness or erythema, swelling, sensitivity to sun exposure, all of which are temporary.

Recovery Time

This procedure generally has no down time. After having a chemical peel, you may feel some tightness of the skin and feel like it is sunburned. Exaggerated facial expressions should be avoided after having a chemical peel as this can result in tearing and bleeding of the skin which may lead to scarring. The skin should heal naturally. Avoid touching or pulling on skin as this may result in permanent damage.

FAQs

When should I get a chemical peel?

Whenever there is damage to be removed, chemical peels can be performed. The minimum age limit though is usually early teens.

The best time to perform a chemical peel is during wintertime since this is the time where there is least amount of sun exposure. It is also advised that this procedure be done after a thorough skincare routine

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What are the common risks of a chemical peel?

You should watch out for crusting or extreme weeping which could occur in AHA peels. Although sometimes this could be normal, there is a borderline appearance that you must be aware of. Inquire from a skincare specialist about what specific things to look out for. usually, in about 3 to 4 days, a typical AHA peel would look and feel normal at this time. For peels which are more intense, down time may take weeks and complete recovery may take about a few months.

Also, you must immediately get in touch with a skincare specialist once pain is experienced in facial area, especially if you are prone to cold sores. These blisters should be treated at once.

It is also important to be cautious if you have oral herpes. Make sure that the primary physician would approve of this treatment. It is also advisable that you be prescribed oral acyclovir. When a breakout occurs at the time of your healing period, the herpes may spread to your whole face which may result in severe and permanent scarring.

Excessive coloration (hyperpigmentation) and lack of pigmentation (hypopigmentation) may occur when you are not able to disclose any skin problems, ethnicity, and improper post-peel care during the consultation. This may also happen when skin types are misdiagnosed. Infection, although not common, may be possible. So it is important to be cautious about it. Watch out for any redness or pain.

It is vital to stick to the post-peel instructions given by the skincare specialist in order to prevent scarring and reduce the likelihood of having long-term or permanent visible signs of damage.

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What does a usual chemical peel consultation require?

During the consultation, a full skin type evaluation, as well as a skin elasticity check will be done by a skincare specialist. Options for this procedure will be discussed as well.

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Will the results be permanent?

It is important that even after you undergo the procedure, you must be able to take good care of your skin. Even if you had a chemical peel and you stress the skin by too much sun exposure, smoking, etc., your skin will still end up looking damaged. Proper skin care and use of maintenance and preventive products like a high SPF sunblock will aid in retaining a revitalized and more youthful look.

With a chemical peel, as one continues to age, signs of aging such as wrinkles will be softened and one would achieve a fresher look depending on the depth of the peel.

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When will I be able to observe results?

Results are seen when pink, fresh skin becomes apparent beneath the peeling skin. Make sure that you do not pull or rub off the damaged skin. After a few weeks, the pink appearance will fade for most light peels. Some may have remaining pinkness that is similar to a mild sunburn depending on the depth and type of the peel used.

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Will the procedure hurt?

A warm, tingling sensation or a stinging sensation may be felt after the procedure. This depends on the strength of the peel.

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How long does the procedure take?

This procedure usually takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The results are usually not permanent but maintained improvement can be achieved by interval treatments.

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Will I need further treatments?

The physician assistant will determine the appropriate program for your skin type. Peels usually begin at a strength of 30% glycolic and is increased up to about 70% over the course of the treatment. In general, a series of 3 to 6 treatments are necessary in order to achieve the most favorable results. Treatments are typically spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart. Results of the peel are immediately seen.

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What are glycolic peels?

Glycolic peels make use of acids that are used in order to exfoliate the skin. They are proven to improve fine lines and wrinkles, even out mild acne scars, reduce the manifestation of light brown spots, and give the skin a refreshed and glowing look. After the procedure, it is expected that your skin may have some redness and have a sunburn feeling; however, the patient may be able to resume normal activities. Application of makeup 24 to 48 hours after the procedure is not advisable.

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