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Chemical Peel - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Feb 05, 2020

What is a Chemical Peel?

Applying Chemical Peels is a treatment done to make the skin’s appearance better, smoother and softer. Where the skin is constantly exposed to direct sunlight and becomes dry or if wrinkles start forming due to normal ageing process also Chemical Peels can be applied and the skin restored to a much better condition. Some persons also use the Chemical Peels to treat specific conditions like acne or scars on the skin. While acne can be treated, the scars may not disappear completely, but there will definitely be an improvement in the skin quality and the difference will show.

The use of Chemical peels is usually seen on the face, the neck, and the hands mostly. These are the areas normally exposed to the sun as well. The Peels once applied may form blisters on the surface, but will peel off automatically. As the name itself suggests, it is made of certain chemicals and there are different types people can find and use, depending on the purpose of the application. There is the short duration and instant type peels the trade would call lunchtime peels and there are also the deeper ones which will work deeper into the skin follicles and produce longer lasting results. The exact chemical used in these types will also vary accordingly. The Chemical Peels are chosen based on the need for a mild or a strong action on the skin.

What are the different types of chemical peels?

There are majorly 6 types of Chemical Peels

  • Glycolic Peel:

    Glycolic Peel is used for rejuvenation and exfoliation of the skin. They come in different compositions according to their intensity or strength. They are used as chemical peel as they penetrate deeper into the skin due to their small molecular size.

  • Lactic Peel:

    In using Lactic Peel, There is no need to worry about having an unfavorable response, as the lactic peel is most easier on the skin. Gotten from milk, the lactic peel is perfect for skin that is dry or touchy to dynamic fixings like retinol.

  • Beta Peel:

    The beta peel is utilized to treat skin inflammation in both younger and aged patients. It utilizes salicylic acid in order to exfoliate the skin, reduces oil from the skin, and targets the microorganisms that cause skin inflammation.

  • Vitalize Peel:

    this is an extraordinary spot to begin for individuals who have never experienced a chemical peel. As vitalize peel is surfaced with very small peeling. The Vitalize peel incorporates citrus, lactic and salicylic acids, adds a retinol layer, to improve the quality and help the pigmentation of your skin.

  • Pigment Balancing Peel:

    It's essential to have reasonable desires when attempting to dispose of dark colored spots and diminish pigmentation. Pigment Balancing Peel is made to help the shade of the skin. This procedure requires some time, and you have to apply sunscreen for the pigment balancing peel to have the ideal impact.

  • TCA Peel:

    TCA Peel is a medium depth peel. This trichloroacetic acid is used for dealing with abnormal skin cells.

What should you do before a chemical peel?

There are some necessary things to discuss with your doctor before a chemical peel.

  1. Tell your specialist if you are associated with any scarring, mouth blisters that hold returning, or facial X-rays previously.
  2. Before a chemical peel tell your specialist about the medications you are presently using, so that he will monitor them and may replace them with some other meds that will be more beneficial to you.
  3. Discuss the depth of your peel with your specialist. This choice relies on the state of your skin and your objectives for treatment.

What is the Chemical Peel treatment procedure?

The actual treatment with Chemical Peels involves applying the chemical evenly across the skin, whether it is the face or the hands or the neck portion. The affected person can either visit a clinic offering the treatment or buy the product of the clinic and use at home if you are familiar with the process. The person receiving the Chemical Peels treatment should know that once the chemical is applied, it will form blisters on the skin and after a while, it will peel off. But the first few moments, there would be a burning feeling but it will subside after some time. The person can feel a stinging feeling also. In such cases, a cold compress may have to be used to take care of this reaction.

In addition, the surface of the skin will remain a little sensitive for a couple of days and if the person has to go out in the sun then the use of a sunscreen lotion is essential to protect the skin from any damage. It may be advisable to seek expert help for availing Chemical Peels treatment of the deeper type since the person may even feel some pain and suitable medication ay have to be taken to suppress the pain. Some of the chemicals used in making the Chemical Peels include Alpha-hydroxy acid, Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid and Trichloroacetic acid, the last one usually found in the Chemical Peels used for deep action.

Who is eligible for Chemical Peel treatment?

Anyone who faces skin related ailments can undergo Chemical Peels treatment. The observation from experience is that people with fairer skin seem to obtain better results than those with darker skin, though in terms of the benefits all types of skin will see some change after the treatment. And those having specific issues like wrinkles or sunburns are definitely the ideal persons to undergo this treatment.

Who is not eligible for the Chemical Peel treatment?

If your routine involves spending too much time out in the hot sun, then the benefit of the Chemical Peels treatment may not last long. In addition, since the specialist might tell you not to get exposed to the sun for a few days, it could affect your work. Such persons have to avoid opting for this treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

In terms of the steps to be followed immediately after the chemical peel is applied and it peels off, the need to apply a cold compress is essential to cool down the skin which has had the blisters. In addition, the skin remains sensitive for a few days and in addition to protecting the skin from being exposed to sunlight, suitable sunscreen lotion has to be used. If there are any damages to the skin and bandaging has to be done that has also to be done. Ultimately, the skin has to be taken care of and the type of skin differs from individual to individual and depending on the type of skin, suitable skin products may be prescribed by the doctor for ongoing care.

How long does it take to recover?

The treatment with Chemical Peels itself does not last very long. Each time the peel is applied, the peel comes off within a few minutes and the treatment itself is done and dusted. But if the overall treatment duration has to be taken into account, then, a week can be safely assumed as the duration of a typical Chemical Peels treatment. And the treatment needs to be repeated after some months for maintaining the skin condition.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the chemical peel treatment can be permanent if you can follow the guidelines of your skin expert. Normally, acne scars, ageing, crow’s feet, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles are treated with the chemical peel and the results would last for up to 3 years depending on how much you had been affected. You may consider another appointment for chemical peel once the problems begin to come back.


What are the side effects of Chemical peel treatment?

Some people with a particular type of skin can face issues immediately after taking a Chemical Peels treatment for their skin. Some of them can even see some swelling and breaking of the skin surface that can take a few days to recover fully. Similarly, there are instances of alteration in the colour of the skin after the peel withers off. There have also been reports of scarring on the skin surface following a Chemical Peels treatment. It must, however, be added here that almost all these after effects are of temporary nature and they are generally treated and rectified without causing any permanent damage.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The duration of the chemical peel is about 20 to 30 minutes and each session costs about Rs. 800 to Rs. 1500. But this can vary according to the peeling agent and the fees of the individual clinics.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

If you find that you are not a suitable candidate of chemical peel, you can consider other options like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion and use of topical medicines such as tretinoin. But it is important to consult with a skin expert who can guide better in choosing the best means to mitigate skin problems.


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Written ByDr. Shaurya Rohatgi MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy,MBBSDermatology
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