Because of the changes in lifestyle today, including our diets, lifestyle and a high degree of air pollution, our skin undergoes a lot of punishment. That is why it is common to find people complaining of a variety of blemishes, some of which are :
- Age spots
- Melasma (dark patches)
- Lines on face
- Sun damage
What Is a Chemical Peel?
In order to counter the effects of damage to the skin, a chemical peel treatment is a treatment that is becoming more popular and is showing better results. A solution of the requisite chemicals is applied to the skin, it tingles and itches for the first few minutes, after which it is usually neutralised (unless it is a leave-on at home wash peel) to reveal new skin underneath, which is free of the earlier blemishes. Each clinic would have its special formulation, but the most common ingredients are glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid. Chemical peels are usually classified into AHA and BHA peels. AHA peels are water-soluble and are made from fruits.BHA is oil soluble and goes deeper into the pores to remove sebum.
Some common types of Chemical Peel available are:
- Glycolic peel-a very gentle peel tends to brighten up the skin instantly. It is an alpha hydroxy acid peel (AHA peel).
- Kojic peel-essentially kojic acid blocks tyrosine from forming, therefore preventing melanin production. It is best used for skin lightening. It is an alpha hydroxy acid peel (AHA).
- Lactic peel or Milk peel-helps to enhance the dull and uneven complexion. Improves the complexion and appearance of pores. It is also an AHA peel.
- Argi peel- these peels are used to lighten the dark circles. The combination contains arginine, lactic acid and allantoin. The peel accelerates wound healing, increases skin elasticity.
- Salicylic peel-these are good for fine lines, wrinkles, acne, marks and scars. It is a beta hydroxy acid peel (BHA Peel)
- Trichloroacetic acid peel-this helps to remove the damaged skin cell layer. These peels are used for age spots, freckles, sun-damaged skin and rough skin.
- Yellow peel-this peel increases the oxygen supply and circulation to the skin. There is a great improvement in the skin tone, colour and clarity. There is visible peeling for about a week.
- Phenol peel-it is a deep peel primarily indicated for photoaging, it can also help one get rid of deep wrinkles. It can regenerate firmness into the skin in a single session.
- Cosmelan peel-it is the best depigmentation method. It reduces dark spots and leads to luminous skin. Although you may have a downtime of 2 weeks, the results are definitely worth it.
|AHA peel(glycolic/lactic/kojic)||BHA peel (salicylic peel)||
|Exfoliation||Good results||Some results||Less results||Good results||Good results||Good results|
|Fine lines||Some results||Less results||Some results||Good results||Less results||Less results|
|Acne||Some results||Good results||Some results||Some results||Good results||Good results|
|Acne scars||Less results||Some results||Good results||Some results||Good results||Good results|
|Age spots||Less results||Less results||Some results||Good results||Good results||Good results|
|Effects||1 month||1month||3 months||3 months||6 months||1 year|
|Treatment time||5 minutes||5-10 minutes||10-15 minutes||4 hours(leave on)||2 hours (leave on )||12 hours(leavon )|
|Recovery time||short||short||Slightly long||Slightly long||long||long|
THE CHEMICAL PEEL SHARE SOME COMMON BENEFITS WHICH ARE:
- Even out the skin tone
- Prevent acne by unclogging the pores
- Increase cell turnover rate
- Remove dead skin cells
- Improves the texture of the overall skin
- Decreases inflammation such as acne and rosacea
- Decreases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and large pores
How does one decide which peel is suitable for them:
This decision is made by your dermatologist. The chemical peels are basically classified into
Superficial peels: These are the mildest peels. They are usually suitable for all skin types. You can do these peels as often as twice in a month. There is no visible peeling but it internally helps to renew the skin cell layer causing a glowing and healthy skin. Best outcomes come after taking 4 to 6 sessions of these peels. Common examples include the glycolic peel, kojic peel, lactic peel. This is ideal for you if you are undergoing a chemical peel for the first time.
Medium depth peels: These peels are more advanced than superficial peels. They penetrate to the level of the upper dermis. These peels work for freckles, age spots, moderate skin discolouration. Visible peeling occurs for 2 to 4 days. So there is literally a ‘peel off’ happening. Common examples are trichloroacetic acid and yellow peels.
Deep depth peels: These penetrate to the dermis level and can also treat moderate wrinkles, fine lines, scars along with treating pigmentation. They come with downtime which includes swelling, crusting and visible peeling. Common examples include phenol peel, cosmelan peel.
Before You Start Chemical Peel Treatment
Like we said earlier, the doctors at your clinic would ask many questions and offer several suggestions before chemical peel treatment can be initiated. Some of them are :
- Examination of existing scars and blemishes and history of earlier ones.
- Examination of the cause and depth of the pigmentation.
- Assessment of the history of medical treatments taken earlier.
- Listing of present medications.
- Checking for the history of cold sores
- Possibility of prescription of certain preparatory medicines before the procedure.
- Your expectations will also be discussed at this time. It is very important for the physician to understand the patient’s expectations of the procedure. Make sure you also clear all your queries about the treatment. For example how many treatments you will need, how long will the recovery period be, what would be the final results.
Some common pre-procedure instructions will usually include :
- You must stop all irritants like retinol, benzoyl peroxide or any product which could cause dryness for at least 3 days prior to your peel procedure.
- Use must use sunscreen regularly before undergoing a peel treatment
- You must not have had any salon procedures like waxing/bleaching/threading at least 3 days before a superficial peel, 5 days before a medium depth peel and 7 days before a deep peel.
- History of cold sores may require an antiviral prescription before the procedure.
After Chemical Peel Treatment:
While going in for a chemical peel treatment, it is important that the doctor clearly explains the possible after-effects to the patient, because some of those might make the patient needlessly nervous. Usually, your skin would resemble a sunburnt skin once the peeling is taking place. The reddish appearance would be followed by scales which would go off within seven days. Some patients also get small to medium-sized blisters on their skin, which would go off within the next seven days. Knowing these possible effects would stop the patient from getting scared after the procedure.
Your doctor will give you below printed aftercare instructions :
- Applying sunscreen and a good moisturizer is the best way to increase the effects of a chemical peel.
- Hot baths/sweating/sauna/steam room/exercising should be avoided until your skin is peeling.
- Don’t rub/scrub or pick on your peeling skin.
- Don’t self medicate to control or reduce the peeling? Discuss with your doctor before applying any at-home creams or ointments.
- Do Not undergo any salon procedures like waxing/bleaching /threading for at least 7 days after a superficial peel, 14 days after a medium peel and at least 28 days after a deep peel.
What is a chemical peel?
It is a procedure where non toxic chemicals are applied to the skin ,which lead to a brighter, glowing complexion. There is also a lot of improvement in the texture and tone after doing a peel.
Am I a candidate for a chemical peel procedure?
Chemical peels are usually safe for all skin types.If you have uneven skin tone, you want to improve your skin colour ,have age spots then you should seek a chemical peel.After a proper consultation it will be determined which peel to use on your skin.
Who should not take chemical peel treatment?
If you are prone to cold sores, if you are pregnant , have a recent tan or very dry skin then chemical peel is not the right choice of treatment for you.
What should i expect from a chemical peel consultation?
The consultation is very personalised as each individual’s skin requirements are different. Your skin type, cosmetic goals and skin health will be considered before your doctor decides about the protocol.For first timers usually a patch test is also done.
What happens during a peel procedure?
Your aesthetician will clean your skin to get rid of all impurities. Vaseline will be applied to protect the sensitive areas.Then the solution will be applied in a timed manner. Your skin might start to tingle or itch.The peel will be removed with the help of a neutralising agent. Some places also use cold compression.This process will lead to exfoliation and speeding up the skin turnover.
How long does a chemical peel treatment take?
For superficial peels the time is maximum 10 minutes as these are neutralised at the same time.
For medium peels the time is around 20 minutes.Some medium peels are also a leave on peel.
For deep dermal peels the complete procedure time can be anywhere between 45 to 60 minutes depending upon the peel used.
Is the chemical peel procedure painful?
The procedure is not painful,however many people feel a burning sensation or a stinging sensation.This sensation will subside within a few minutes post procedure.
What areas are frequently treated by a chemical peel?
Chemical peel can usually be applied on any body part. The popular areas treated are face, neck, hands ,
back and lower legs.
How often should one get a chemical peel done?
A superficial chemical peel can be repeated every 2 weeks.
A medium depth chemical peel can be repeated every 6 to 12 weeks.
A deep depth chemical peel usually doesn't require repetition in most cases.If the doctor indicates it for you ,it will be at a gap of at least 12 months.
When can I use skin care products after a peel?
Your doctor will best ascertain this. After a superficial peel you can get back to your skin routine within 3 days, after a medium depth peel you could get back to your skin care within 2 weeks, for a deeper depth peel 3 to 4 weeks after.
Why is it recommended to not exercise for 48 hours after peeling?
The skin has already undergone an inflammatory process. Strenuous exercises lead to sweating, sweating can irritate the skin and delay the healing process as the skin layers are very sensitive after a peel.
What results can I expect after a chemical peel?
Superficial chemical peels can help to improve your skin’s texture and uneven tone, as well as reduce the appearance of very fine wrinkles. The results will be subtle after the first treatment, but will gradually increase after a series of treatments have been completed. After a superficial chemical peel, follow sun protection thoroughly.
If you have done a medium chemical peel, then your skin will noticeably look much smoother after the treatment. You must ensure to follow sun protection thoroughly for a few months.
If you have done a deep chemical peel, you'll see a huge improvement in area that was treated in terms of tone ,texture and evenness. You have to ensure to take care of your skin always as it has undergone an advanced procedure.
One must have the right kind of expectations from the results of chemical peels.The results are not permanent.You will need to take a series of treatments along with maintenance treatment to have the lasting effect. How well you care for your skin after a chemical peel will determine how many sittings you will ultimately need.
Where to Get a Chemical Peel
The facial skin is the part of your body that the world sees, so any blemishes on it would be detrimental to your self-confidence. That is why you should think long and hard before going in for any kind of treatment for your skin. If you are not sure if a chemical peel treatment would work for you, a consultation with the best skin specialist in Mumbai would help answer some of your queries. You can visit a reputed clinic to get all your doubts clarified and check out the facilities for yourself. One of the best places for skin treatment in Mumbai is Metamorphosis Clinic where a tolerability profile is carried out on all patients to determine if their skin is ready for a chemical peel treatment, and if so, then which peel would be most efficacious. As we have outlined above, there might be a few adverse reactions depending on certain skin types. Only a good quality clinic would be able to assess the skin properly and prescribe the right chemical peel for every patient without any unwanted after-effects.