chemical peels


Chemical peels give you younger-looking spotless skin and it also treats various other skin problems.  It is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied on the dry, damaged skin which makes it to dissolves. When the skin dissolves, the dead skin breaks out and peels off while the new skin cells start emerge. The new skin that grows is smooth, young, and wrinkle-free, with improved skin tone and texture than the old skin. Various acids are used in the chemical solution, some most commonly used acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid and carbolic acid.  Chemical Peels are applied typically on face but it can also be applied on neck or hands.

Let’s see how Chemical Peels give you spotless skin:

Why Chemical Peels are done?

The treatment is used for treating various aging signs and skin problems, which include:

  • Fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
  • Wrinkles and freckles
  • Age spots, skin discoloration, and irregular skin pigmentation
  • Some types of acne scars
  • Melasma (dark patches) due to pregnancy
  • Rough, sun damaged skin
  • Scaly patches

What are the types of Chemical Peels?

Depending on the issues which you want to address with this process, the doctor will choose the right type of peel. The basic three types of peels include:

  • Light Chemical Peel: This peel is light that is used to remove outer layer of skin, called epidermis. It is used for treating wrinkles, acne and dry uneven skin. The treatment session is held once in a week for up to 6 weeks.
  • Medium chemical peel: This type of peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and the upper part of middle layer of skin called as dermis. It is used to treat wrinkles, acne scars and uneven skin tone. The treatment process can be repeated after 12 months.
  • Deep chemical peel: This peel removes skin cells from dermis and deep layer of skin (mid to lower layer). It treats deep wrinkles and scars.

What is the procedure of Chemical Peels?

The procedure for light, medium and deep Chemical Peels includes:

Procedure of light Chemical Peel:

Brush, cotton or sponge is used to apply a chemical solution containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Then the treated skin begins to white. Neutralizing solution is used or simply washes to remove applied chemical solution from the treated skin area.

Procedure of medium Chemical Peel:

Cotton or gauze is used to apply chemical solution containing trichloroacetic acid, sometimes while combining it with glycolic acid. Then the treated skin begins to white. After few minutes, the doctor applies cool compressors that soothe the treated skin.

Procedure of deep Chemical Peel:

Intravenous fluids (IV) are given for monitoring your heart rate. After that, cotton or gauze is used to apply carbolic acid (phenol) to skin. Then the treated skin begins to white or gray. In order to have limit exposure to phenol, the doctor applies the solution with an interval of 15 minutes. The complete procedure will take 90 minutes.

What are the results of procedure?

Results of light Chemical Peel before and after the procedure improve skin texture and reduce fine wrinkles. After the procedure, you need to avoid sun exposure until new skin comes. Medium Chemical Peel makes your skin smooth while you should avoid sun exposure for few months. Dramatic results will show after treatment of deep Chemical Peel on the treated area. It is advised to protect your skin from sun permanently to prevent skin color changes.

Remember, the results may not permanent, so you need to repeat the treatments as per the doctor recommendations.

What are the benefits you will get with Chemical Peels?

Chemical Peels are usually used to restore the youthful and vibrant appearance to wrinkly and sun-damaged skin. All the three types of Chemical Peels have unique benefits, which include:

Light Chemical Peel: It improves acne scars and texture of the skin and reduces affects of mild sun-damaged skin. The recovery time of the procedure is less and you get youthful looks.

Medium Chemical Peel: It improves acne, smoothes the fine surface wrinkles and corrects age spots. It also reduces facial birth marks and improves dry skin.

Deep Chemical Peel: It helps in treating sun-damaged skin, deep acne scarring, eliminates coarse and deep wrinkles and also removes any pre-cancerous growth. It gives you long-lasting results especially when it is used for treating deep acne scarring.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with Chemical Peels?

Mild and medium peels have some common side effects which are redness and mild irritation, but these effects last for few days only after the treatment. On the other hand, stronger peels may take more recovery time and the peeling or crusting of the treated skin is more noticeable.

Most of the people who have undergone Chemical Peels reported that they didn’t experience any serious side effect after the treatment. However, there are some severe risks involved with the procedure which may include permanent scarring, chemical burns and permanent pigmentation for people having dark skin.

As Chemical Peels can cause adverse reactions so it is important for you to provide your complete medical history to the doctor prior the procedure and especially inform the doctor if you have history of heart disease, tendency to scarring and persistent cold sores or fever blisters. You should carefully follow the pre-procedure and post-procedure instructions of the doctor because this will minimize the possibility of any side effect or adverse reaction.

Most importantly, there are some medical considerations and risks involved specifically to deep Chemical Peels. These deep peels can cause permanent skin darkening, called as hyper-pigmentation or permanent skin lightening, called as hypo-pigmentation, so that is why these are not recommended to patient with dark skin. Secondly, deep peels also pose a special risk to the patient who has family history of heart disease, so if you are considering deep peels then make sure to tell the doctor in pre-treatment consultation whether you have family connection to heart diseases.

Want to get a younger-looking skin? Consult Marie Hayag, MD in NYC:

If you want to remove wrinkles, freckles, acne scars or other signs of aging on your skin or treat other skin conditions then take a reliable Chemical Peels treatment from board certified Marie Hayag, MD to see the finest results. She has extensive experience and training in cosmetic dermatology. You will get a safe, advanced and protective treatment.