Chemical Peel Acne Facial Treatment
As we age, the accumulated effects of sun exposure, pollutants, acne and scarring can damage our skin and cause us to look older than we are. Such skin damage can be treated with a chemical peel, a non-invasive procedure designed to promote cell growth and produce smoother, clearer skin.
Chemical peels can also be used to treat melasma (a skin condition characterized by irregularly shaped patches of brown skin commonly found on face and neck) and pre-cancerous changes in the skin.
A chemical peel can be performed on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands and legs.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is an application of an acid to the skin to achieve a controlled burn to the top layers of the skin.
It is used to:
Minimize fine and coarse skin lines resulting from sun damage
Treat acne especially those with blackheads and whiteheads
Remove mild/superficial acne scars
Remove pigmentary disorders (like melasma)
Types of chemical peels:
The type and concentration of acid controls the depth of the burn used to achieve superficial, medium and deep burns.
Superficial burns are produced using Alphahydroxy (AHA) acids. AHA peels are used to treat rough, dry skin and also to improve skin texture.
Medium peels are often done using Trichloroacetic (TCA) acids. TCA peels are used to treat fine wrinkles and superficial blemishes.
Deep peels are produced using carbolic acid (Phenol). It is used to treat coarse wrinkles, blotches caused by the sun, birth control pills, aging or pre-cancerous growths. Phenol peel is always used only on the face as it can cause scarring on the neck and other areas of the body.
How do I prepare for the peel?
Your doctor will advise depending on your skin condition and peel selected. For example, sometimes, Retin A, a prescription medication derived from Vitamin A is used to pre-treat the skin. This thins out the skin’s surface area allowing the peel solution to penetrate more deeply and evenly to get more effective results.
What can I expect during and after a peel?
You may feel a burning sensation when the chemical peel agent is applied.
For AHA peels, a transient pink discoloration will appear but this will quickly subside. Slight flaking of the skin will occasionally be experienced for 1 – 2 days.
For TCA and Phenol peels, the skin may turn brown, feel dry, flake and peel for a few days.
Chemical peels are done as an outpatient procedure. For AHA peels, you can even return to work after the procedure immediately.
What must I do after a peel?
Wash face as usual but use a gentle cleanser
You may be asked to use a moisturizing cream prescribed by the doctor
Do not apply any skin medication or glycolic acid product during the entire time of healing to avoid skin being irritated
Avoid sun exposure
Do not peel, pick, scrape or scratch the skin at any time
How effective are chemical peels?
Fine lines and wrinkles are caused by the deterioration of the connective fibers (collagen and elastin) in the skin. Chemical peels force the growth of new tissue in which fibers are more plentiful and better organized. Although it may take quite some time for the skin to recover after a deep chemical peel, the end result is skin of better tone and a more youthful appearance. To get best results, chemical peels have to be repeated. Most patients require 2– 4 chemical peels at an interval of 2 – 4 weeks.
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A chemical peel is a facial treatment using acid on the skin to achieve a controlled burn to the top layers of the skin.