How they Works
Most commonly administered as a facial peel, a chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is used to exfoliate and remove the damaged outer layers of the skin, revealing a new skin layer with improved tone, texture, and color. Certain types of skin peels can also be used for spot treatments and as a way to remove stretch marks or rejuvenate skin somewhere else on the body.
Some peels cause no visible peeling, while other agents cause a person to peel like a snake for three straight days or more. Some clients want to 'see' their skin peeling, and as to others do not want the peeling to be noticeable.
There are three basic 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 and requires 1 to 7 days to heal. 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. Following the treatment, the skin will be initially red and may scale the next day. Make sure to apply sunscreen daily and as often as needed. Makeup can usually be worn the next day.
- Medium peel:Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is applied to penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells causing crusting of the skin and peeling can take 7 to 14 days. 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. Treated skin will initially be red and swollen and swelling may worsens for the first 48 hours. Eyelids may swell shut. Blisters may form and break. Avoid all sun exposure until healing is complete. Camouflage makeup may be worn after five to seven days. A follow-up appointment will be necessary to monitor progress.
Deep peel: Tricholoracetic acid (TCA) or phenol is applied to deeply to the face penetrating the middle layer of skin to eliminates moderate lines, age spots, freckles and superficial scars and requires 14 to 21 days to heal. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance. The treated area will be bandaged. Antiviral medication is taken for 10 to 14 days. Skin must be soaked 4 to 6 times daily, followed by ointment application for the first 14 days. Then the following 14 days a thick moisturizer is applied. Sun exposure is to be avoided for three to six months. Camouflage makeup may be worn after 14 days. Several follow-up appointments will be necessary to monitor progress.