Chemical Peel

Chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. It’s advisable to seek professional help before administering chemical peels although some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license. There are several types of chemical peels which include:
  • Alpha hydroxyl acid peels
They are naturally occurring carboxylic acids. It is the mildest of the peels formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkle, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. They can also be mixed with facial wash in lesser concentrations as part of daily skin care to improve the skin’s texture. There exists five fruit acids i.e citric acid,lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid and tartaric acid.
  • Beta Hydroxyl acid peels
This is becoming more commonly used because of its ability to get deeper into the pore. BHA peels control sebum excretion, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHA’s.
  • Jessner’s Peel
Jessner’s peel solution, which is a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol in an ethanol base, and is thought to break intracellular bridges between keratinocytes
  • Retinoic acid peel
This is a type of facial peel performed in the office of plastic surgery in a medical spa setting. It is a deeper peel than the beta hydroxyl acid peel and is used to remove scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation problems. It’s usually performed in conjunction with jessner, which is performed before in order to open up the skin so that the retinoic acid can penetrate to a deeper level.
  • Trichloroacetic acid peels
It’s used as an intermediate deep peeling agent. The depth of penetration is increased as concentration increases. Higher concentrations are not recommended because of high risk of scarring.
  • Phenol peels

Phenol is the strongest of chemical solutions and usually produces deep skin peel. Its effects are long lasting. Improvements in the patient’s skin are quite fast.

Chemical peels are risky and need to be administered by certified dermatologists or licensed estheticians. Light chemical peels can be done in medical offices. Medium peels are a bit more painful and require anesthesia. Classic deep chemical peels like Phenol are very painful and mostly done under general anesthesia. Chemical peels are sometimes done with dermabrasion or laser resurfacing for a more dramatic overall effect. Chemical peels may not be done if you have recently used Isotretinoin, had a recent facial surgery or facial radiation therapy, an impaired immune system or known allergies to certain medicines.

In general, the deeper the peel the greater the risk of side effects and complications like color change of the skin, crusting and scaling, swelling, infections, allergic reactions and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Chemical peels usually remove the upper layers of the skin thus it’s important to understand the risks and what results to expect. No technique is necessarily better than other, it all depends on the site you want to treat, your skin type and condition, your preferences and other factors.