It is inevitable; everyone will get older. When we see wrinkles appear and age spots forming, we start to religiously apply serums and creams, hoping that it will restore youthfulness. For some, it may work, but others turn to treatments that deliver more noticeable results. Chemicals peels are safe and effective, and more people are choosing this alternative to turn back the hands of time.
A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure to improve the appearance of the skin. It helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of mild scars, treat certain types of acne, diminishes freckles and hyperpigmentation, and improve skin texture.
The procedure uses a chemical solution that is applied to the skin to remove the top or middle layer depending on the type of chemical peel performed. The new skin growing back is smoother and younger-looking. Chemical peels come in different depths.
Light chemical peel. A light or superficial chemical peel removes the outer layer of skin called the epidermis. It treats wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. Common agents used in light peels may include combinations of alpha-hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and maleic acid. Light chemical peels can be done every two to five weeks, depending on desired results.
Medium chemical peel. It removes skin cells from the epidermis, and the upper part of the middle layer of the skin called the dermis. A medium chemical peel can treat wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. Agents frequently used for medium-depth chemical peeling include TCA (trichloroacetic acid), Jessner's solution, and glycolic acid. Medium chemical peels can be done every three to nine months to maintain results.
Deep chemical peel. A deep chemical peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and from portions of the mid to lower layer of your dermis. This depth of the chemical peel treats deeper wrinkles, scars, or precancerous growths. The strongest chemical called phenol is used to penetrate down to the lower dermal layer of your skin. A deep chemical peel can only be performed once.
Light chemical peels are popular because of the little downtime. The skin will be red, dry, and mildly irritated. It will take one to seven days to heal.
Medium chemical peels will leave the skin red, tight, and swollen. The skin will feel similar to a deep sunburn. As swelling decreases, treated skin will begin to form a crust and might darken or develop brown blotches. Treatments take about two weeks to heal, but redness may remain for months.
Deep chemical peels will result in severe redness, swelling, peeling, crusting, throbbing, and burning sensation. New skin will start to develop in about two weeks. Redness may last for months, and skin may lose its ability to tan.
The deeper the chemical peel, the more risks may be involved. Blotches, infection, permanent scarring, and prolonged redness in the skin may occur. With deeper chemical peels, phenols can pose a unique risk causing heart, liver, and kidney damage.