Over time, our skin becomes ravaged by the elements. And s we get older, our skin begins to show the damage caused by the sun and the elements. This can include wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and other signs of aging.
A chemical peel treatment is an effective technique used to improve the appearance of the skin by removing the tops layers of the skin, to expose the younger, fresher skin that lies beneath. Also known as chemexfoliation or derma-peeling, the treatment involves the controlled application of a chemical solution to the skin. The solution strips the top layers of the skin off, which enables smooth regenerated skin to appear once the skin heals.
There are three types of chemical peels:
Light peels – to lighten superficial blemishes, age spots and fine wrinkles. Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the mildest of the peel formulas.
Medium peels – are used to remove advanced sun damaged skin and age lines. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is most commonly used for medium peels.
Deep peels – are used to treat scarring, coarse facial wrinkles, damaged skin caused by sun exposure, and pre-cancerous growths. Phenol is the strongest of the chemical peels.
Chemical peels are generally used on the face, neck or hands. They are used to treat:
* Lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
* Mild scarring
* Some types of acne
* Age spots, freckles and melasma (dark patches due to hormones from pregnancy or birth control)
* Uneven skin tone
A chemical peel can be performed in a doctor’s office or in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure. The procedure generally takes about 30 to 45 minutes. First, the skin is cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils. The patient’s eyes and hair are then protected. A chemical solution is carefully applied to the skin. These applications remove the top layers, enabling new, regenerated skin to appear.
Depending on the strength of the peel, patients resume normal activities anywhere from within a day to a few weeks. After the chemical peel, patients should be diligent in using sunscreen every day.