What Exactly Is a Chemical Peel?

Apr 05, 2019
What Exactly Is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a skin treatment option most often used on the face, neck, and hands. When people get chemical peels, an acid solution is applied to the surface of the skin.

A chemical peel is a skin treatment option most often used on the face, neck, and hands. When people get chemical peels, an acid solution is applied to the surface of the skin. This chemical solution induces exfoliation, allowing newer, regenerated skin to form. The general purpose is to achieve an improved appearance.

What Will a Chemical Peel Do?

There are different types of chemical peels, so the effects depend on the type of treatment you receive. Over several days following treatment, skin will become crusty and scaly, and then peel, yielding softer, smoother skin. The basic forms of chemical peel treatments include:

  • Superficial peels: A mild acid solution (such as alpha-hydroxy acid) is used to penetrate the outer layer of skin. The result is a gentle exfoliation that can reduce mild roughness or discoloration.
  • Medium peels: To penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin, glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is used for removing damaged skin cells, reducing the signs of aging, or even treating some types of precancerous growths.
  • Deep peels: Deeper layers of skin can be reached by using trichloroacetic acid or phenol. Since several layers of skin are removed, treatment should be performed by a qualified doctor. It can only be done once in a person’s life.

A light peel can take as little as 20 minutes. There’s little downtime and healing takes just a few days. Side effects are usually limited to some redness and flaking. Medium and deep peels, however, take longer to recover from. Peeling occurs over 7 to 14 days. You may need to stay out of the sun and take antiviral medication. Deep peels may require bandaging, soaking several times a day, and use of special ointments to prevent scarring. The healing process can take up to three weeks.

It is highly recommended you consult with a dermatologic surgeon before getting any type of chemical peel.

Are Chemical Peels Good for Your Skin?

A chemical peel can leave your skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated. It can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, treat sun damage, and even improve the appearance of scars. Chemical peeling can be beneficial for everything from reducing age spots and freckles to treating certain kinds of acne. Dark spots, such as those caused by melasma during pregnancy or when taking birth control pills, can also be reduced.

After any chemical peel, expect your skin to be sensitive to the sun. Apply sunscreen if you go outside, especially one above SPF 30 and that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Wide brimmed hats and avoidance of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are recommended.

Potential side effects of a chemical peel include temporary or permanent changes in skin color, scarring, and a recurrence of cold sores.

Who Is the Best Candidate for Chemical Peels?

The best results are typically seen with fair-skinned, light-haired patients. Depending on the problem, those with darker skin can benefit as well. However, patients with a history of scarring and who have severe wrinkles, skin sags, and other imperfections may require other cosmetic surgical procedures. Always talk to your doctor before deciding on having a chemical peel.

Consult with LDI for Skin Rejuvenation

At LDI, we offer the best skin rejuvenation services in Southern California. Our main office is located in Covina, where we provide a range of non-surgical skin treatment options. For a complementary consultation, call us at 866-888-5427, use our Quick Contact Form, or self-schedule your appointment now.