What is Chemical Peel?
Chemical Peel involves applying a thin layer of chemical agent on the skin to remove the dry dead layer on the surface, therefore creating a smoother and fresher-looking skin. The deeper the peel, the more extensive the skin is renewed. Medium and deep peels stimulate collagen renewal, resulting in firmer and tighter skin.
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is the commonest kind of chemical peeling agent used. This is a group of acids commonly known as fruit acids and includes glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. Glycolic acid is the commonest used and this provides a superficial peel. Other chemical agents include TCA and Jessner’s solution. These penetrate deeper than glycolic acid giving medium to deep peels.
What skin types are suitable for Chemical Peel?
Both superficial and medium peels are considered safe for people of all skin colors. Aging skin has a greater build-up of dead skin cells, which can create a dull look and clogged pores. Superficial peels are effective at counteracting this problem. With deep peels there is a tendency to leave hyperpigmented (increased pigment) areas especially in darker skin types. It may take up to 8 weeks for such marks to clear.
How long does the treatment take?
Superficial and medium peels take less than 15 minutes, and are performed without anesthesia.
What is the downtime or recovery time?
There is little or no downtime for superficial peels. Most patients will have a mild redness that will last for half to one day. For a medium peel, you will need to rest for 4 – 7 days depending on the extent of skin peeling.
What are the risks involved?
The risk of scarring is very minimal with the superficial and medium peels.
How many treatments do I need?
A superficial peel typically requires repeated applications every 2 to 3 weeks till the desired effect is achieved.
What are some of the conditions that can be treated with Chemical Peel?
* Blackheads and whiteheads
* Clogged pores and oily skin
* Dry, rough skin texture
* Mild sun damaged skin
* Mild age spots
* Superficial pigmentation
* Fine lines
Are there any precautions I have to take?
One week before the peel, you should avoid a suntan/sunburn. From 3 days before the peel, stop the use of all topical medications including anti-acne and skin lightening products.
How about deep chemical peel?
Deep chemical peel is useful for the treatment of pitted acne and chickenpox scars. Scabs, crusting and redness will be expected to last a week. The acid is usually applied to the problem spots only. There is a biting itchy sensation during treatment. Treatment can be repeated every 3- 4weeks till desired effect is seen.