What is Chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin, often facial skin, using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off.

The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license, however people are advised to seek professional help from a dermatologist, anesthetic, plastic surgeon, oral and axiomatically surgeon, or otolaryngologist on a specific type of chemical peel before a procedure is performed.

A peel removes several layers of sun damaged skin cells, leaving fresh skin which has a more even surface and color. It may stimulate new collagen to be formed improving skin texture. Peels may result in superficial, moderate depth or deep skin injury.

How is a chemical peel performed?

Your dermatologist will assess you and decide which superficial or deep peel is needed and the type of solution to be used. You may need to stop the use of some medications like strong vitamin A creams. The skin is primed with pre conditioning creams. You may need 2 to 4 AHA sessions for acne but more for acne scars.You may need 1-3 sessions for freckles but more for deep pigment problems.

The dermatologist applies the solution to exfoliate the skin. You will feel a hot sensation for 5 to 10 minutes. The deeper peels are more painful and may require anesthetic creams before the procedure. Within the next few days, the face will be red, scaly, and peel off. Deeper peels turn brown black, show swelling and peel off after 1 to 2 weeks.

What are the complications with a superficial peel like AHA peel, and a deep peel like trichloroacetic acid?

1.A risk of developing post peel color change, a deep brown color. This is more in darker races. Hormone treatments may darken this more. The color may take 3 to 4 months to fade. The skin may burn and darken if you are on oral isotretinoin capsules, so do not use peels.
2.A low risk of scars can form after peels. This may start as scabs which can become infected. Sometimes, herpes infection can be reactivated and cause persistent pain and scars. Inform your doctor if you have a history of herpes, and avoid any peels in active herpes infection.
3.You may be allergic to the solution and develop redness, blisters and eczema/rash.

Frequently Asked Questions

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