If you are experiencing skin problems like pigmentation, acne, wrinkles, age spots, or dark patches, chemical peels might make a world of difference in how your skin looks and feels. The benefits of a peeling treatment are wide-ranging — from combating acne, lightening scars, age spots, and hyperpigmentation to smoothening wrinkles, reducing sun damage signs, and improving the overall appearance of skin.
However, there are some misconceptions about chemical peels. The first and the riskiest of them is that anyone can start using chemical peels. While it’s true that you can use a low-strength chemical peel that’s safely formulated for at-home use, a medical-grade peeling treatment should be strictly performed by a licensed, trained dermatologist or aesthetician.
If you wonder how do chemical peels work and if the treatment can help treat your skin problems, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog, our skin experts shed light on chemical peels, their types, procedure, and probable risks. Let’s get started!
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a type of skin treatment that uses a chemical solution — usually containing Alphahydroxy Acids (AHA) or Betahydroxy Acids (BHA) — to remove the outer layers of the skin to reveal the healthier and more youthful-looking inner skin layers. It is usually used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck, or hands. The treatment works by peeling off a layer of skin cells from the epidermis to uncover smoother and brighter skin.
Chemical peel treatments are highly effective for a range of skin problems:
- Certain kinds of acne
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Sunspots, freckles, dark patches
- Rough and dry skin
- Skin dullness
Your dermatologist will be able to suggest the best type of skin peeling treatment depending on your skin type and condition.
It’s worth noting that chemical peels may not show dramatic improvements in cases of severe wrinkles, deep scars, or sagging skin. If you have any of these skin issues, your dermatologist will be able to suggest an alternative treatment.
Types of Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can be of different types, and each uses different chemical solutions or acids such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, etc., to achieve the desired results. The three main types of chemical peels include light, medium, and deep peels.
A light or superficial skin peel can help treat skin issues that affect only the epidermis. Being the gentlest type, it is the best chemical peel for people who have sensitive skin. Post-treatment, the skin usually heals within a week.
Medium chemical peels are best suited for people with moderate skin pigmentation, fine lines, or acne scars. As it penetrates deeper into the skin, the recovery time maybe around 1-2 weeks.
A deep chemical peel is the strongest type, usually recommended for severely pigmented, sun-damaged, or wrinkled skin. As it penetrates the dermis layer of the skin, recovery time may extend to a few weeks.
Also, Read A Beginners’ Guide to Skin Care
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
Chemical peels exfoliate the skin. The acid used in the treatment sloughs off the damaged cells from the epidermis, the outer skin surface. Some more potent acids can also remove damaged parts of the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis). After this process, the skin is allowed to heal for a few days to 1-2 weeks. It results in visibly smoother skin with a reduction in the targeted issues.
No matter which type of chemical skin peel you are opting for, your dermatologist will provide you with some specific instructions to help prepare your skin for the treatment. Depending on the type of chemical peel treatment you are receiving, you may or may not receive painkillers or sedatives.
The procedure usually begins with the dermatologist applying a chemical solution to your skin using a brush, cotton ball, or a cotton-tipped applicator. You may feel a stinging or burning sensation on your skin, but that’s a part of the process. The dermatologist will follow it with a neutralizing solution or a cool compress.
A Word About the Risks
A chemical peel treatment may leave you with swelling or peeling, which usually disappears within a few days or a couple of weeks. Your dermatologist may also suggest some methods to help your skin heal faster.
Although the side effects of getting a chemical peel are usually mild, some people may experience dark patches, long-lasting redness, or even scarring unless a reputed dermatologist does the procedure. Not only should you get a medical-grade peeling done from an experienced professional but it’s wise to get a consultation before you try a light peel at home. Particularly if you have existing skin problems, a trip to the dermatologist can save you from unintentionally damaging your skin.
At Jo Skin Revive, we have an experienced dermatologists who can help you, whether you’re looking for a clinical peeling treatments like dermapeeling, skin-resurfacing etc., or wish to try at-home options. Call us to book an appointment today!
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