A chemical peel is a simple procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the topmost layers. What it does is remove the topmost layer of the skin, and the new layer of skin that grows is brighter and smoother. With a light or medium peel, this can be done more than once to get the desired results.
Chemical peels are used to treat problems like wrinkles, discoloration, and even scars (on the face). Chemical peels are versatile; they can be done as standalone treatments or combined with other procedures like laser facials. There are deeper chemical peels and they offer much more dramatic results but they also require a lot of downtime to recover. Chemical peeling is also known as chemexfoliation or derma peeling. It is generally on the face, neck, or hands. But it is also used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation in the areas like underarms and bikinis. It helps in improving conditions like:
- Mild scarring
- Sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, and discoloration
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
- Certain types of acne
- Rough skin
- Scaly patches on the skin
- Dull complexion
- Melasma due to pregnancy or birth control pills
Depending on the issues that you are facing, you can choose a chemical peel in any one of the three depths
- Light chemical peel: a light chemical peel is a superficial peel that will remove the outer layer of the skin which is the epidermis. This light peel works on conditions like fine lines, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. One can get a light peel done once every two to five weeks.
- Medium chemical peel: this peel removes cells from the epidermis as well as a little bit of the dermis. It removes a little bit of the top layers of the dermis. This peel aids in treating wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone.
- Deep chemical peel: this peel removes cells even deeper in the dermis and is often done in a surgical setup under the administration of anesthesia. It is often used for deep wrinkles, scars, and even precancerous growths.
What are the risks involved in chemical peeling?
Please consult your dermatologist before proceeding with the chemical peel treatment. In certain types of skin, there is a risk of developing temporary and permanent changes in the color of your skin. For example, people on birth control pills, pregnancy, and a family history of brown discoloration on the face increase the risk of developing pigmentation.
Some of the side effects include redness, scabbing and swelling; depending on how deep the peel is the redness may last from a few hours to a few months.