Overview of Chemical Peeling

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the skin’s appearance on the face, neck, or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

Superficial or Lunchtime Peel: Here, alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to exfoliate it gently. This improves the appearance of mild skin discolouration and rough skin as well as refreshes the treated area. 

Medium Peel: Here, glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the out and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. It helps improve age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, freckles, and moderate skin discolouration. It also can be used to smooth rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis. 

Deep Peel: Trichloroacetic acid or phenol-based peels are used to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin and remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance. The procedure is used on the face and can only be performed once.

Are Chemical Peels Painful?

Chemical peels sting slightly but do not cause a great deal of pain. Peels that contain alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are very gentle. They may cause stinging, redness, or irritation, but as the skin begins to adjust all these problems fade away quickly.

Trichloroacetic acids are used for stronger peelings to remove wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems. Phenol is the strongest of all treatments and removes deep lines and wrinkles on the face. These type of treatments sting more than those with the gentler acids. After the treatment, there may be redness, swelling and irritation but which is dealt with using soothing creams and gels.

What Precautions To Practice After Getting A Chemical Peel?

Precautions For Superficial Peels:

  • Superficial peels require one to seven days to heal. 
  • Treated skin will initially be red and may scale. Lotion or cream should be applied until the skin heals, followed by the daily use of sunscreen.
  • You can start wearing makeup, usually from the next day.

Precautions For Medium Peels:

  • Medium peels require 7 to 14 days to heal. 
  • Treated skin will initially be red and swollen, which may worsen for the first 48 hours. As your skin crusts and peels off in seven to 14 days, you may notice blisters form and break during this period. 
  • Your skin must be soaked daily for a specified period, followed by ointment application. Mild lotion or cream may be applied.
  • Take the prescribed antiviral medication for 10 to 14 days or as directed by our doctor. 
  • Avoid all sun exposure until healing is complete. Camouflage makeup may be worn after five to seven days. 
  • A follow-up appointment will be necessary to monitor progress.

Precautions For Deep Peels:

  • Deep peels require 14 to 21 days to heal. 
  • The treated area will be bandaged, but you must soak your skin four to six times daily, followed by ointment application for the first 14 days. You will have to use a thick moisturiser during this period.
  • You’ll be asked to take antiviral medication for 10 to 14 days. 
  • You’ll have to avoid all sun exposure for three to six months and start wearing camouflage makeup after 14 days. 
  • Several follow-up appointments will be necessary to monitor progress.



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