This technique done by a trained medical doctor, is used to regenerate the skin, mainly to help treat acne, improve the appearance of mild superficial acne scars, minimize melasma due to pregnancy or from taking birth control pills and to reduce fine wrinkles especially around the eyes and mouth. They cause the skin to exfoliate/peel off and a new skin regrows. The new skin is smoother and has a radiant glow.
What are the types of peels?
During a light peel, a cotton ball, gauze, or brush will be used to apply a chemical solution like salicylic acid to the area being treated. The skin will start to whiten, and may have a slight stinging sensation. Once complete, the chemical solution will be removed or a neutralizing solution will be added.
In a medium chemical peel, your medical doctor will use a gauze, special sponge, or a cotton-tipped applicator to apply the chemical solution - glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid - to your face. A blue color may be added to the trichloroacetic acid, commonly known as a blue peel. The skin will begin to whiten, and your doctor will apply a cool compress to the skin. You may feel stinging or burning for up to 20 minutes. No neutralizing solution is needed, though they may give you a hand-held fan to cool your skin. If you’ve had the blue peel you will have a blue coloring of your skin that may last for several days after the peel.
For a deep chemical peel, you will be sedated. The medical doctor will use a cotton-tipped applicator to apply phenol to your skin. This will turn your skin white or gray. The procedure will be done in 15-minute portions, to limit the skin exposure to the acid.
Procedure and Post Treatment
Before the procedure, the medical doctor who does your peel will first clean your skin thoroughly, then numb the area with a topical anesthetic, especially if you’re receiving a deep peel. For deep peels, your medical doctor may also use a regional anesthetic to numb larger areas. They are particularly likely to do this if you’re having your face and neck treated. Then one or more chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol) will be applied to small areas of your skin. That creates a controlled wound, letting new skin take its place.
After a chemical peel of any depth, your after care is crucial so follow your doctor's directions carefully for cleansing, moisturizing and applying protective ointments to your skin.
After a light chemical peel, treated skin will be red, dry and mildly irritated — though these effects become less noticeable with each repeat treatment. Your medical doctor might apply a protective ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to soothe the area. Treated areas take about one to seven days to heal after a light chemical peel. New skin might temporarily be lighter or darker than normal.
After a medium chemical peel, treated skin will be red, tight and swollen and you'll feel a stinging sensation. Your medical doctor might apply a protective ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to soothe the area. Use ice packs or fan the area to soothe. Over-the-counter pain-relieving medication and naproxen sodium may help reduce any discomfort. You will likely schedule a post-treatment check-up soon so that your medical doctor can monitor your healing. As swelling decreases, treated skin will begin to form a crust and might darken or develop brown blotches. Treated areas take about seven to 14 days to heal after a medium chemical peel, but redness might last for months.
After a deep chemical peel, you will experience severe redness, swelling, burning, throbbing, and your eyelids might even swell shut. Your medical doctor will apply a watertight dressing to treated skin and prescribe painkillers. Sleeping in a semi-reclined position may also help reduce swelling. Treated areas will develop new skin within about two weeks after a deep chemical peel, although cysts or white spots might appear for several weeks and redness might last for months. Treated skin might become darker or lighter than normal or lose the ability to tan.
Avoid unprotected sun exposure. It's important to consistently use sunscreen at least four weeks before the procedure to help prevent irregular pigmentation in treated areas.
Avoid certain cosmetic treatments and hair removal. About a week before the peel, stop waxing or using depilatory hair-removal products as well as bleaching, massages or facial scrubs in the week before your peel.