4.6 Chemical peel

(Nonsurgical mild & medium peels, surgical deep chemical peels)

Chemical peels are gaining popularity. These peels are quite effective, when used as sequential treatment along with laser skin rejuvenation procedures. This combine approach helps to change the skin dramatically.

What are chemical peels?

A chemical peel is a treatment in which an organic or mild acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, uneven skin pigmentation and aging changes.

Chemical peeling is one of many cosmetic procedures to improve texture of the skin. Chemical peel removes controlled thickness of damaged layer of the skin in order to stimulate normal healing and skin rejuvenation so cosmetic appearance of the skin improves.

In chemical peel, an acid solution is applied over the face to take off an outer layer of the skin.Chemical peels can be ablative or non ablative. There are three strengths of solution. Light , medium and strong. Mild & medium depth ( moderately strong) chemical peels are non-ablative. Non-ablative chemical peels (Mild & Medium peel) acts up to mild extent & superficially. So these peels act slowly & so they need more number of sittings (about 6-8 sittings).

Mild peels:

In mild peeling, chemical solution is applied once on the skin. For mild or superficial peel does not require any anaesthesia. The skin of face is thoroughly cleaned before the procedure. Then, chemical peel is applied.

It causes mild tingling sensations or stinging sensations. Patient can immediately go to his place of job. It provides healthier and radiant look. The depth of peeling depends on the amount of time for which this solution remains on the skin and number of coating of acid applied. It corrects fine wrinkles, mild sun damage and mild pigments. It need repetition 6-10 time to achieve good results.

Medium peels:

Medium peel works more deeply. It causes sun burn appearance. It is used to treat moderate wrinkles, moderate sun damage, pigment changes, and precancerous lesions. Trichloroacetic acid (15%) or phenol or glycolic acid (50%). It can also be done as combination peels or sequential peel by using two or more peeling agent simultaneously or in sequence is used. It may be repeated 4-6 times to achieve good results.

Deeper strong chemical peels:

Deep or strong peel is used if patient has deeper wrinkles, acne scars, rosacea. Deep or strong peel is not used in patients with dark and oily complexion. It is a risk for heart patients. It is done under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia and takes 1-2 hours. It is done once. After application, skin will peel off for about two weeks. Patient should be away from routine activities for about a week. Face becomes very red and raw for two weeks. This procedure risks infection, scarring, colour and pigment change. This is least expensive method as compared to other resurfacing method. It has its own limitations. In deeper peels, seven days are required to shed outer layer. Redness, swelling, hyperpigmentation or spots on the skin may develop after the procedure. Signs developed after peeling or any procedure does not indicate that it has produced side effects. But it indicates that treatment was done deeper & effectively to achieve more results.

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