What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.
Three types of chemical peels:
- Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
- Medium peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate deeper into the skin, removing damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration. It also can be used to smooth rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis.
- Deep peel: Higher levels of TCA, or combination therapy and other procedures including topical treatments, penetrate even more deeply into the skin. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance
What should be done before considering a chemical peel?
A thorough evaluation by a trained Dermatologic Professional is imperative before embarking upon a chemical peel.
When is a chemical peel appropriate?
Chemical peels are used to treat a number of conditions including:
- Acne scars
- Aging skin
- Crow’s feet
- Sun damaged skin
- Sagging Skin
Are chemical peels painful?
Chemicals peels sting but do not cause a great deal of pain. The gentlest peels use alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, lactic or fruit acids are also gentle. They may cause stinging, redness, irritation and crusting but as the skin begins to adjust all these problems will lessen.
Trichloroacetic acids are used for stronger peelings. They remove wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems. This type of treatment stings more than those with the gentler acids. After the treatment there may be redness, swelling and irritation but the use of creams and gels will reduce these effects. Also the doctor may prescribe medicines that will help relieve the problems after the peel.
Sun exposure and smoking after a chemical peel must be avoided because they can cause unwanted side effects, including infection and scarring.
For more information pertaining to a Chemical Peel please view our Services page Chemical Peels or contact University Dermatology to schedule an appointment 704.596.1787
Original source: https://www.asds.net/ChemicalPeelsInformation.aspx