A chemical peel is a special cosmetic procedure aimed at improving your skin condition and appearance. During this treatment, an expert carefully applies a specific type of chemical solution on your skin, after which the top layer of the skin starts blistering. Eventually, this blistered layer peels off, thereby exposing the protected and healthy underneath layer that is smoother and younger.
Chemical peels may be done on face, hands or neck. They are highly effective in
- Treating wrinkles caused due to aging or sun damage
- Reducing fine lines around the mouth and under the eyes
- Disappearing mild scars
- Treating certain acne types
- Reducing freckles, melasma, age spots, etc. caused due to hyperpigmentation
The Process of Chemical Peels
To understand the process of chemical peels, you can divide it into three stages:
Preparation: Before chemical peeling, tell your doctor if you have a history of cold sores or scarring or if you recently had a facial X-ray. Also tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking at present, as some of them may need to be stopped before the procedure. They may also prescribe you certain antiviral or antibiotic drugs to prepare your skin for the peels. If you have an experience you may apply peel at home.
The Actual Process: The chemical peel process is done at a surgery center or in a doctor’s clinic only, but if you have experience with the peels and you feel comfortable you can also apply peel at home. Doctors will first clean your skin, and then they will apply a chemical solution like trichloroacetic acid, carbolic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid, to your skin. You may feel mild burning and stinging sensation after application of the chemical, but it subsides on its own within 5-10 minutes. The doctor may use cold compresses to relieve the stinging, and if needed, they may also give you a pain reliever.
After the Procedure: You will see redness and scaling on your skin for 3 to 7 days after the chemical application. Deep peels may even lead to blisters and swelling on your skin, which may continue for as long as 14 days. You may need to repeat the procedure after a few days, until you get the desired look. Since your new skin is fragile and delicate, you need to keep it protected from sun exposure for at least a month.
Who Can Go for a Chemical Peel?
As a general rule, light-haired and fair-skinned people are more eligible for chemical peels. People with dark skin can also have good results, but they have chances of developing an uneven skin tone after the chemical peeling. However, remember, chemical peels may not be that effective for severe wrinkles, skin sags, and bulges. People with such skin problems may need to go for more invasive surgical procedures, like laser resurfacing and dermal fillers.
All in all, a chemical peel can be highly successful in improving your skin tone, texture, and decreasing fine wrinkles and hyperpigmentation on your skin. The results may be subtle initially, but they improve after repeated procedures. Just keep in mind that you have to keep your newly exposed skin protected from the sun.