Have you ever wondered why your skin appears to be dull and uneven as you grow older? Our skin cells can rapidly regenerate and rejuvenate, and the older and dead cells continuously shed. However, as we grow old, this regenerating capability of the skin weakens, which causes the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, making it appear dull, uneven, and lifeless.
Chemical peel treatment is one way to get rid of dull and damaged skin. Here is everything you need to know about this treatment.
A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment done on the face, hands, and neck, in which the uppermost layer of the skin is peeled off, which exfoliates the skin giving it a smoother and less wrinkled skin. This aesthetic treatment involves the application of chemicals on the skin, which causes the skin to blister and gently peel off once the chemicals dry out. This treatment is an in-office procedure which is allowed to be performed only by a certified dermatologist.
As scary as it may sound, chemical peels are perfectly safe for the skin and are used to help the skin look younger, youthful and radiant. Most celebrities use this treatment to maintain a glow on the skin.
There are three basic types of chemical peels:
In this form of chemical peeling, a mild acidic solution is used to penetrate only the topmost layer of the skin. This kind of peeling is essentially used to treat slight skin discolouration and rough skin and is also known as lunchtime peel.
Acids like alpha–hydroxyl acid gently exfoliates the skin in superficial peeling. This treatment enhances the appearance of the skin, making it look refreshed and used for face, neck, chest etc. Superficial peels do not damage any layer below the epidermis, which is the most superficial layer of the skin.
This form of chemical peeling involves penetration of top and middle layers of the skin using acids like glycolic and trichloroacetic acid. The skin is exfoliated and treats problems like age spots, wrinkles, freckles, fine lines, and skin discolouration.
Medium peeling reaches the superficial layer of the dermis that is slightly a deeper layer of the skin. As the chemical solution used in this form of chemical peeling is comparatively stronger than what is used in superficial peeling, it is more effective for removing damaged skin cells.
Like the name already suggests, deep peeling reaches to the deeper layers of the dermis. Solutions of trichloroacetic acid or phenol are used, to completely penetrate the middle layer of the skin. Deep peeling has a significant impact on the skin and shows dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance. This peel treatment removes moderate lines, freckles, shallows cars, age spots etc.
The intensity of damage on the skin depends on the concentration, nature of the chemicals used in the peeling solution and the time they are used for. Some common chemicals used in peeling solutions include retinoids, lactic and glycolic acid, carbolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, beta-hydroxyl acids, salicylic acid.
You can use chemical peels to treat a variety of skin conditions. Some of them are:
- Sun damage: For sun-damaged skin, a thorough analysis of the skin is recommended, after which effective treatment can be done on the skin. Once the analysis is complete, a trichloroacetic peel or a series of trichloroacetic peels is used to treat the sun damage.
- Light facial Scars: Chemical peel treatment is used to diminish the signs of ageing as well as in removing damaged skin cells. The treatment helps to improve the texture and condition of the skin by exfoliating the dead skin and cleansing with chemical solutions that contain alpha-hydroxyl acid, or beta-hydroxyl acid.
- Uneven skin tone or redness: The concern of uneven skin tone or redness in the skin can be treated with superficial peeling.
- Wrinkles: When the acidic solution is applied to the damaged area of the skin, it wounds the outer layer of the skin in a controlled manner and reveals new, younger-looking skin.
- Fine Lines: A surface skin treatment or what is known as superficial peel treatment can be used for softening the fine lines around the mouth and under the eyes. This treatment is extremely effective in addressing and rectifying the fine line damage by toning the texture of the skin.
- Acne scars: Acne scars are formed, as a result of the body’s inflammatory response to acne lesions. Every person has different acne scars because of the unique facial topography of every individual. The implementation of chemical peel treatment for acne scars depends on case 2 case. The most common treatment for eliminating the appearance of acne scars is with a chemical peel treatment using trichloroacetic peels or phenol chemical peels which resurfaces the skin.
- Hyperpigmentation: Conditions such as discolouration, age spots, melasma, can be treated by chemical peel treatment. The intensity of the treatment decides the level of effectiveness and the benefits or result of the treatment. In the procedure to remove the appearance of hyperpigmentation conditions, a variety of acids are used to exfoliate the upper layers of the skin to give it a rejuvenated appearance.
Who should avoid Chemical peeling?
People with darkly pigmented skin should avoid or at least be very cautious about having chemical peel treatment. This is because there is a high chance that the pigmentation of the newly healed skin after the treatment will be substantially different from the current skin tone. Also, people who have severely wrinkled skin or sagging skin should avoid getting chemical peel treatment.
So, who is Chemical peeling the most suited for?
The most suitable candidates for chemical peel treatment are the people with fair skin and light hair.
But can there be any side effects of the treatment?
Like any other chemical treatment, there are some side effects of chemical peel treatment. Some of the side effects can be:
- It can trigger an infection like herpes, the virus that’s responsible for cold sores.
- A chemical peel can temporarily or permanently change the colour of the skin in some people. It is most commonly seen in women who are on birth control pills and subsequently become pregnant, and also people who have a history of facial discolouration.
- Scarring that can last a lifetime is another side effect of chemical peel treatment.
- A deep chemical treatment using phenol can cause heart, liver, and kidney damage.
The Bottom Line
Is extremely important to understand that any form of chemical or medical procedure comes with their share of risk. To avoid any dangerous or critical side effect one must have a detailed discussion with the doctor about their medical history and if it is safe for them to get the treatment. Once the treatment is complete, it is essential to follow the instructions given by the dermatologist so that the skin heals properly and you can get the best results.