A chemical peel is a medical procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers and achieve a fresher look. The skin that grows back is smoother and glowing. A chemical peel can be divided into three categories: light, medium, and deep, depending on the depth and intensity of the effect. The depth of the chemical peel depends on the type and concentration of the acid, pH acidity, and how long it is kept on the skin. In light peels, skin redness and downtime are significantly shorter, and the possibilities for complications and scarring are smaller.
A chemical peel has an excellent effect on the following skin problems: photo-aging, acne, acne scars, fine lines, actinic keratoses, and hyperpigmentation.
It is recommended to get a chemical peel in fall, winter, and spring because the exposure to UV radiation is smaller at that time, and so is the risk of hyperpigmentation. An exception to this rule is a mandelic acid peel which can be performed during summer months too.
Peels can be combined with various esthetic treatments, primarily micro-needling, and mesotherapy.
How are they performed?
After cleaning the skin with alcohol, a chemical peel is applied which causes prickling of the skin. After a satisfactory effect has been achieved, depending on the peel type, a neutralizing solution is applied to the skin which neutralizes the acid and stops its action. Certain kinds of peels, such as TCA (trichloroacetic acid), Jessner’s solution, or salicylic acid neutralize themselves, and after the treatment, only a soothing moisturizing cream is applied.
After a chemical peel, it is obligatory to use sunscreen with UVA/UVB total block (SPF 50+) factor for 14 days, and even longer after deeper peels. Minimally 4 peels have to be performed to achieve the optimal effect.