A chemical peel can be described as an effective and least invasive method of improving the complexion and texture of the skin. It is particularly helpful in managing sun tans, blemishes, pimples and acne, and replenishing the appearance of the skin. In this treatment, a chemical which is chosen according to the skin type is applied on the skin. It also depends on the intensity of the problems and allergies of the patients, if any. It is kept for some time and then peeled off so that the flawless skin at the underlying layers manifests itself. The chemical peel is used all over the world and if you are struggling with the dullness of your facial skin, you can consider the treatment without any delay. Some ingredients can sink deep into the inner layers of the skin and the more they penetrate, the better the result. But before you decide to opt for the treatment, it is imperative to consult with a skin expert who can help you with the choice of the chemical, approach, setting realistic expectations and post-treatment care.
At first, a chemical solution is applied to the skin making it blister and then it is peeled off. The resultant skin is much smoother without any fine lines and wrinkles as compared to the original skin. The expert would ask you questions regarding how you are feeling with the treatment. It is natural to feel some burning and tingling sensation as they mean that the treatment is working. You must not hesitate to communicate about how your skin feels during the treatment. Itching is also normal with chemical peel treatment. However, if you feel anything beyond your toleration, it must be notified to the expert without any delay. Some patients also report that the skin feels cold right after the application of the chemical while others feel a warmer sensation. Both of these two are absolutely normal unless they reach an extreme point or cause unbearable discomfort.
The chemical peels can be done on the face, hands, or neck. You can consider the treatment option if you are willing to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, blemishes, and tans caused by sun exposure. It is also effective in reducing the appearance of mild scars and treating certain varieties of acne. If you are relatively healthy with no sensitivity to the chemicals used in the peeling, you can consider the treatment for reducing freckles and dark patches. Overall, the chemical peel treatment is suitable for all those who want to improve the look and texture of their skin.
Dark-skinned and dark-haired people may not respond well to the chemical peel treatment. Even though the treatment may work for dark-skinned people, it may cause uneven skin tone. If you have bulges, sagging in the skin and severe wrinkles, then the chemical peel treatment may not work well for you. The process is not recommended for those who suffer from infections, active skin issues, broken skin or sunburns, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis. Also, you must refrain from the treatment if you are nursing or pregnant as it might affect adversely.
The side effects of chemical treatment include a permanent change in the colour of skin, especially for the women who have been taking birth control pills for a very long time. Also, the treatment can lead to undesired results for patients who have a history of brownish facial discolouration. The chemical peels can be painful at times and it makes the skin even more sensitive. Also, swelling, redness, and irritation are common with the chemical peel treatment, but it can subside with medications and application of gels and creams.
After undergoing the chemical peel treatment, you must avoid sun exposure and smoking as they lead to undesired side effects. You must abide by the guidelines given by the doctor for staving off scarring and infection. If you have undergone superficial peels, you can wear makeup the following day but make sure you have used heavy moisturiser and sunscreen. But in the case of medium peels, you may have to wait for 7 days for wearing make-up. With deep peels, you must avoid sun exposure for at least 6 months and you would have to come for follow-up appointments with your skin expert.
There are three types of chemical peels and therefore, the time of recovery depends on the treatment you have undergone. If you have undergone superficial peels, then the recovery period is one week. You should apply creams and lotions until the skin heals. Medium peels take about 14 days for healing. It is natural for the skin to swell considerably for the first 48 hours. The crusts and peel start coming out from 7 to 14 days after the treatment. But you must be very patient in case of deep peels. Here the treated area would be bandaged after the treatment. It is important to apply ointment and emollient moisturiser after the treatment.
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.
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.
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.