Chemical peels are cosmetic treatments that can be applied to the face, hands, and neck. They’re used to improve the appearance or feel of the skin. During this procedure, chemical solutions will be applied to the area being treated, which reason the skin to exfoliate and eventually peel off. Once this happens, the new skin underneath is often smoother, appears less wrinkled, and may have less damage.
Chemical peels can improve the skin’s appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it “blister” and eventually peels off. The new skin is generally smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Chemical peels are used to remove damaged skin cells, revealing healthier skin underneath. There are different types of peels: light, medium, and deep
- Improve the appearance of mild scars
- Treat certain types of acne
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
- Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills
- Improve the look and feel of skin
What type of chemical peels can I get?
There are three different types of chemical peels that you can get. These include:
Superficial peels, which use mild acids like alpha-hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate. It only penetrates the outermost layer of skin.
Medium peels, which use trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to reach the middle and outer layer of skills. This makes it more effective for removing damaged skin cells.
Deep peels, which fully penetrate the middle layer of the skin to remove damaged skin cells; these peels often use phenol or tricholoracetic acid.
What are the risks and possible side effects of a chemical peel?
Common side effects are temporary, and contain redness, dryness, stinging or burning, and slight swelling. With deep peels, you may permanently lose the ability to tan.
Darkening or lightening of the skin color- These can be more common in people with darker skin.
Scarring-This can be permanent.
Infections-People with herpes simplex may experience flares following a treatment. Very rarely, chemical peels can reason fungal or bacterial infections.
Heart, liver, or kidney damage– The phenol used in deep peels can actually damage the heart muscle, kidneys, and liver, and cause irregular heartbeats.