It is known that Cleopatra and the ancient Romans used a form of chemical peel made from a compound of fruit acids, fatty acids and fermented goat milk. Chemical peels are one of the many forms of treatment used in reversing skin aging process. The chemical based formula is for dermal smoothing and improvement. Chemical peels are means of peeling the blemished outer layer of skin which is replaced by a new, unblemished layer.
WHAT IS CHEMICAL PEEL USED FOR?
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors
- Improve the appearance of mild scarring
- Treat certain types of acne
- Reduce age spots, freckles and dark patches due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills (melasma)
- Improve the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A chemical solution is applied to the skin, and works by dissolving the upper layers of the skin. As the tissue is dissolved, it stimulates the body's healing response, causing new tissue to emerge. The depth and strength of the 'peel' varies based upon the strength of the chemicals used and the length of time the solution is applied.
TYPES OF CHEMICAL PEELS
Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
Medium peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the out and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration. It also can be used to smooth rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis.
Deep peel: Tricholoracetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance. The procedure is used on the face and only can be performed once.
IS THIS PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
Chemicals peels sting but do not cause a great deal of pain. The gentlest peels use alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, lactic or fruit acids are also gentle. They may cause stinging, redness, irritation and crusting but as the skin begins to adjust all these problems will lessen. They remove wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems. Phenol is the strongest of all treatments and removes deep lines and wrinkles on the face. These type of treatments sting more than those with the gentler acids. After the treatment there may be redness, swelling and irritation but the use of creams and gels will reduce these effects. Also the doctor may prescribe medicines that will help relieve the problems after the peel.