What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic technique that is used to improve the appearance of the skin. This aesthetic technique is usually used around the skin on the face, neck or hands to smoothen the texture of the skin in those regions through a process of regeneration. Chemical solutions of different types can be applied on the skin, causing the skin in those areas to exfoliate and peel off. The resulting surface wound heals and regenerates new tissues which are usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
The several types of chemical solutions that are safe for use on skin include glycolic acid with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessner’s solution (lactic and salicylic acid).
What treatments are Chemical Peels used for in Thomson Specialist Skin Centre?
Chemical peels can be used to treat skin ailments such as mild acne, including blackheads, whiteheads and even superficial acne scars. They can also be used to treat skin pigmentation such as sun spots, age spots, freckles, and melasma. Chemical peels are especially effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in areas around the eyes, but they are not as effective for severe wrinkles.
Our dermatologist will assess your skin condition first before deciding which type of chemical peel is needed.
Are Chemical Peels safe?
There is a low risk of scars forming after peels. These may form as scabs which may become infected. It is important that you inform your dermatologist should this happen so that topical remedies can be applied. Some patients can be allergic to the solution being applied and develop redness, blisters and eczema/rash.
Superficial peels may cause redness that require approximately one to three days to heal. Medium peels require about one to two weeks to heal fully. Note that swelling caused by the chemical peel worsens for about 48hours before getting better. After peel skincare involves the application of ointment daily and soaking of the skin to keep it hydrated.
There are instances of a temporary or permanent change in skin colour, particularly for women on birth control pills, who subsequently become pregnant or have a history of brownish facial discoloration. It is important to discuss the risks with your dermatologist first before proceeding with the chemical peel.
Are Chemical Peels painless?
Chemical peels do not cause a great deal of pain. Chemical solutions containing AHA, glycolic, lactic and fruit acids are gentle on the skin. You may experience a little stinging, skin irritation and crusting but only for a short period.
Chemical peels using phenol solutions are stronger and are used to treat deep lines and wrinkles. These would sting more than the gentler, superficial peels. Your dermatologist would prescribe topical medicines that would help soothe the area after the peel.