What is it?
A chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the skin to blister and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Types of Acid Peels
Available chemical peels include the use of Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels, Jessner’s peel, Retinoic acid peel, Trichloroacetic acid peels, and Phenol peels. The dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will determine what type of peel is the adequate choice for you.
Superficial chemical peels are a minor procedure and no special arrangements are needed. But you may need painkillers, sedation, local anesthetic or even a general anesthetic for deeper peels.
First the face is thoroughly washed to remove surface oil. The peeling agent is then applied for several minutes. It stings – how badly and for how long depends on the chemical, its concentration, whether you’ve had pre-treatment with aspirin, and individual factors. A fan can help. The peel is then neutralized, and the burning sensation lessens.
Individual treatments may include peels with several agents on the same occasion, with the aim of improving results and reducing risks.
Antibiotics and oral antiviral agents may be recommended after deeper peels.
Superficial peels result in mild facial redness and occasional swelling which usually resolve within 48 hours. The peeling is similar to sunburn. Most people can continue their normal activities. Make-up can be applied a few hours after the procedure. A high sun protection or a total sun block is required.
Moderate depth peels result in intense inflammation and swelling, which resolve within a week. The peeling is more marked. Mild redness can persist for several weeks. Most people take a week off from work after a moderate depth peel. Total sun block is required long-term.
- Ensure your doctor’s instructions are carefully followed
- If you don’t understand, ask!
- Let your doctor know promptly if there are any problems – complications are easier to deal with early than late
- You will receive detailed follow-up instructions from the aesthetic doctor.