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Chemical Peels - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

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 aging 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.

How is the treatment done?

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 the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anyone who faces skin related ailments can undergo the 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 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.

Are there any side effects?

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 color 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 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.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of Chemical Peels treatment in India can vary according to the type of clinic you decide to get your treatment done and also the type of treatment you choose, the mild or the deeper type peel or chemical you opt for. It can start anywhere from around Rs.1500 per sitting to Rs. 3000/= per treatment. Remember you will have to return for the peel after a few months. The cost also does not include the expenses on the sunscreen lotion or other treatment to take care of the skin before and after the peel.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No. The skin gets restored. But the treatment has to be repeated after six months or earlier depending on how much you are able to take care of your skin. In the case of wrinkles etc due to aging, such natural processes cannot be reversed forever.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

If you don’t want to choose Chemical Peels treatment, then there are procedures like dermabrasion available for repairing and restoring damaged skin. Some kind of laser treatments is also attempted for obtaining similar results. These treatments, however, may be more expensive that Chemical Peels.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: Low Price Range: RS. 1500 - Rs. 3000 per session

Popular Health Tips

Chemical Peel - What All Does It Treat?

MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology & Venerology & Leprosy (DDVL)
Dermatologist, Raigarh
Chemical Peel - What All Does It Treat?

Chemical peels are a skin care procedure that can be used on the face, neck, and even the hands in order to remove and prevent fine lines. These peels are also helpful in treating age spots and blemishes. These peels can be a part of one’s regular skin care regimen in order to improve the overall appearance of the skin.

Read on to know more about chemical peels and the various types available.

The procedure: Chemical peels usually follow a specific procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the skin which makes upper layer to peel off. The new skin that emerges is usually free of wrinkles and smoother as compared to the old skin.

What all does it treat: There are a variety of skin problems that can be treated by chemical peels, including reduction of age spots, dark patches, and other scars. It can also treat severe forms of acne even as it prevents fine lines and wrinkles that have been caused due to constant sun exposure and aging. Also, it reduces the fine lines that form under the eyes and around the mouth. This treatment can also help in treating freckles and dark patches that may be caused due to hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and also due to birth control pills. It basically gives you smooth and supple skin.

Light peels: This is one of the most commonly used types of chemical peels. These include lactic, salicylic acid and glycolic peels. This type of chemical peel is a mild one that makes the pores smaller and treats surface problems like acne, blackheads, as well as other skin imperfections like light skin discolouration and freckles. This kind of peel is quick and easy to administer, and can help in stimulating collagen production to keep the skin supple. One will typically need about four sittings in a span of two to four weeks.

Medium depth chemical peels: These are stronger peels that show more dramatic results. They may cause visible flaking and peeling after the procedure has been carried out. These peels are usually used to fix the problems that come about due to sun damage. Also, these peels can decrease the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and large pores. These peels can also repair the patches that appear due to pigmentation problems. One will need a session at least once every three months to maintain the results.

Deep chemical peels: These peels have more risk and deeper complications. They are used for very severe cases that include permanent hyperpigmentation which brings about darkening of the skin. Also, it can fix lightening of the skin due to hypopigmentation. It can also be used for the removal of scars. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

2721 people found this helpful

Chemical Peel and the Pathology Behind It

Diploma in Dermatology, MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Chemical Peel and the Pathology Behind It

Chemical peeling is a medical procedure which includes application of a chemical agent to the skin, causing controlled destruction of the epidermis, with or without the dermis, leading to exfoliation and removal of superficial lesions, followed by regeneration of new epidermal and dermal tissues. In simple words chemical peeling or chemical rejuvenation is procedure where a chemical agent or combination of agents of defined strength are applied the skin causing a controlled destruction of layers of the skin. This is followed by regeneration and remodeling leading to improvement of texture and surface abnormalities. It is a safe, effective and affordable option for improving skin ageing and imperfections.

Skin is considered the largest organ of the body and has many different functions. The skin is divided in two main regions, the epidermis and the dermis. The dermis is attached to an underlying hypodermis also called subcutaneous connective tissue.

Epidermis: It is the most superficial layer of the skin. The first barrier of protection from the invasion of foreign substances. The epidermis is divided into four layers – stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum and stratum basalis(basal layer).

Dermis: It is composed of fibroblasts which are responsible for secreting collagen, elastin and ground substance that gives support and elasticity to skin. It supplies the epidermis with nutrients and has its role in thermoregulation. The dermis is subdivided into two zones, upper papillary and lower reticular layer.

Classification of peels according to histological depth

  1. Very superficial peel – Exfoliation of the stratum cormeum, without any epidermal necrosis.
  2. Superficial peel – Destruction of the full epidermis, up to the basal layer
  3. Medium peel – Destruction of the epidermis, papillary dermis and upto the upper one third of the reticular dermis.
  4. Deep peel – Necrosis of the entire epidermis and papillary dermis with inflammation extending to the mid reticular dermis.

Classification of chemical peeling agents

Very superficial Peel:

  • Glycolic Acid 30-50% applied for 1-2 minutes
  • TCA* 10% applied as one coat
  • Jessner’s solution 1-3 coats

Superficial Peel:

  • Glycolic acid 50-70% applied for 2-10 mins (depending on the type and thickness of the skin)
  • TCA 10-30%
  • Jessner’s solution 4-10 coats
  • Very superficial and superficial Peels are the mildest form and often called, “the lunchtime peel.” These peels break down corneocyte adhesion, causing dead skin cells to shed off to reveal the fresh, healthy underlying skin. These peels address minor skin irregularities like discoloration, acne, surface scarring, fine lines, and sun spots.

Medium Peel:

  • Glycolic acid 70% applied for 3-30 mins (depending on the type and thickness of the skin)
  • TCA 35-50%
  • Glycolic Acid 70% plus TCA 35%
  • Jessner’s solution plus TCA 35%

Deep Peel:

  • Phenol 88%
  • Baker Gordon phenol formula
  • Medium and deep peels increase the collagen and glycosaminoglycans content, cause collagen remodeling and increase dermal thickness to improve the clinical appearance of the skin with reduced wrinkles, skin tightening and pigmentary dyschromia.

Reason behind chemical peeling:

  • Wound healing process is an important reason for rejuvenation. The phases of wound healing after chemical exfoliation are apparent:
  • Inflammatory phase (1-5 days) – This phase is evident after peeling as erythma and swelling on the skin
  • Proliferative phase (2-21 days) – In superficial peels, the basement membrane is intact, hence normal epidermis is restored in 2 to 3 days. In medium to deep peels, wound is below basement membrane and re-epithelialization takes time.
  • Remodeling phase (3 weeks to 2 years) – collagen remodeling is the main reason that chemical peels cause rejuvenation and reduce wrinkles.

Indications for peels:

1. Pigmentary disorders

  • Resistant melasma
  • Pigmented cosmetic dermatitis
  • Freckles
  • Lentigines
  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

2. Acne

  • Comedonal acne
  • Post acne scars
  • Acne cosmetic
  • Acne excoriee

3. Cosmetic

  • Photoageing
  • Fine wrinkling
  • Skin glow and rejuvenation
  • Oily to rough skin
  • Actinic keratosis

4. Miscellaneous

  • Keratosis pilaris
  • Macular amyloidosis
  • Dilated pores
  • Seborrheic keratoses

Contraindications

  • Active bacterial, viral and fungal infection and open wounds
  • Oral isotretinoin use within the past three months
  • Pregnancy and breast feeding
  • History of keloid formation
  • History of taking oral contraceptive and photosensitive drugs
  • Unrealistic patient expectation
  • Uncooperative patient, eg. Patient is careless about sun exposure or application of medicine
  • For medium depth and deep peels, history of abnormal scarring, atrophic skin and isotretinoin use in the last six months.

How to choose a patient:

A patient should be chosen depending upon 4P’s:

P – Pathology

P – Point of depth required

P – Patients skin

P – Previous peeling agents

Newer peels:

Many peels like mandelic acid, kojic acid, lactic acid, citric acid and many more have been introduced in the market which are also available in combination. These peels are not only more skin friendly but also more patient friendly. They have buffering agents like licorice extract and willow bark extract to minimize irritation to skin and antioxidants to infuse the skin with restorative nutrients. The change in the skin often occurs at cellular level and are not apparent to the naked hence making it more popular amongst busy patients who are seeking effective treatments quickly with little or no downtime.

Benefits of chemical peels:

The skin becomes noticeably smoother and rejuvenated.

  • It reduces pigmentation, improves dull and uneven skin tone, reduces signs of photoagaeing, acne and enlarged pores.
  • Removes dead and damaged skin cells and improves skin texture
  • Helps in removal of tan
  • Skin becomes brighter and more vivid because chemical peels not only cause re-epithelialization of the epidermis but also collagen remodeling.

Pre peel and post peel precautions:

  • Patient has to be motivated enough to get multiple sittings of the peel ( 4-8, depending on the indication and type of peel) every 2-3 weekly to get the desired result.
  • Patient should not wax, bleach, scrub, shave(the same day) or get any other aesthetic procedure like microdermabrasion, ipl, derma-roller one day before the chemical peel procedure. A gap of at least 7 days before and after the peel should be maintained.
  • Patient should use a mild soap/ non soap cleanser after the peel
  • Broad spectrum sunscreen and moisturizer should be used liberally, at least 2-3 times a day and sun exposure should be avoided.
  • Patient should be strictly prohibited from scratching, picking or scrubbing the skin.

Take home message:

Chemical peeling is a simple office procedure for the treatment of acne, pigmentation, skin rejuvenation and photo ageing. These are not one time procedures but require 6-8 sessions and maintenance peels to achieve maximum improvement and prevent recurrences. The newer peels are safer and effective. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

4470 people found this helpful

Chemical Peels & Their Usage!

MD - Ayurveda Scholar, Diploma In Skin Aesthetics, Cosmetology and Trichology, Diploma In skin aesthetics, Diploma In cosmetology, Diploma In Trichology, Diploma In Nutrition & Diet Planning, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Trichologist, Mumbai
Chemical Peels & Their Usage!

Chemical peels are used for exfoliating the skin around your face, neck and hands. It is a process in which a chemical solution is used for eliminating the dead skin cells from the upper layer of your skin. After applying a chemical peel the affected layer of the skin comes off leaving behind a new layer of skin.

Chemical peels may be used for treating the following skin problems:

  1. Acne and acne scars
  2. Wrinkles
  3. Helps you to combat the problem of ageing
  4. Excessive consumption of hormonal medications can sometimes lead to the appearance of brown spots on your skin.
  5. It also effectively treats damage caused by the harmful rays of the sun.
  6. Sometimes dark circles and fine lines that appear under the eyes can also be treated with the help of chemical peels.
  7. Skin pigmentation can be cured with the help of chemical peels.

Chemical peels are generally not painful and are usually effective. Following types of chemical peels are used -

  1. Light peels: These peels are very mild in nature. Most often Glycolic acid is used as the peeling agent. Light peels can make your skin smooth and can also give you a radiant look.
  2. Medium depth peels: Trichloroacetic acid is used for peeling in case of medium depth peels. It helps to treat skin problems like wrinkles, pigmentation or skin damage caused by harmful rays of the sun.
  3. Deep peels: Deep peels not only act upon the upper layer of your skin but they rather penetrate through different layers of your skin. Usually phenol is used as the peeling agent.

Chemical Peels - How Do They Help In Getting Fairer Skin?

BHMS, PG Diploma In Clinical Cosmetology (PGDCC), Fellowship in Medical Cosmetology
Cosmetic Physician, Navi Mumbai
Chemical Peels - How Do They Help In Getting Fairer Skin?

Do you ever wish you could start all over and take better care of your skin? A chemical peel could give you that chance. Peels can dramatically reduce lines, wrinklesacne scars, dark spots, and roughness caused by years of sun.

A chemical peel is a solution applied to the face to remove the outermost layer or layers of skin. It's a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new skin that grows in its place is softer, smoother and has fewer imperfections. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.

There are three basic types of chemical peels:

Superficial or Lunchtime Peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.

Medium Peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration.

Deep Peel: Trichloroacetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. A thorough evaluation by a dermatologist is imperative before embarking upon a chemical peel.

When is a chemical peel appropriate?

Chemical peels are used to treat a number of conditions including:

1. Pigmentation on face or body

2. Tanning

3. Dyschromias

4. Fine Wrinkles

5. Acne

6. Acne marks and scars

7. Dullness

8. Aging skin

9. Crow's feet

10. Sagging skin

Who should not opt for chemical peels?

Generally, light-haired and fair skinned people are the best candidates for chemical peel. The procedure does not work as well on dark skinned patients. The procedure is not recommended for individuals with infections, active skin disease, cut or broken skin, or sunburns. Other contraindications include patients who are:

1. Nursing or pregnant.

2. Have taken Accutane in last six months.

3. Have psoriasiseczemadermatitis or rosacea.

Chemical Peels - Know Utility Of It!

Trichologist, Mumbai
Chemical Peels - Know Utility Of It!

Chemical peels are used for exfoliating the skin around your face, neck and hands. It is a process in which a chemical solution is used for eliminating the dead skin cells from the upper layer of your skin. After applying a chemical peel the affected layer of the skin comes off leaving behind a new layer of skin.

Chemical peels may be used for treating the following skin problems:

1. Acne and acne scars
2. Wrinkles and freckles
3. Helps you to combat the problem of ageing
4. Excessive consumption of birth control pills can sometimes lead to the appearance of brown spots on your skin. Chemical peels help to remove those spots and marks.
5. It also effectively heals damage caused by the harmful rays of the sun.
6. Sometimes dark circles and fine lines that appear under the eyes can also be treated with the help of chemical peels.
7. Skin pigmentation can be cured with the help of chemical peels.

Chemical peels are generally not painful and are usually more effective for white skinned people. But they can cause adverse results if applied on cuts, wounds, infections or any skin diseases like eczema.

There are many types of chemical peels such as:

a) Light peels: These peels are very mild in nature. Most often Glycolic acid is used as the peeling agent. Light peels can make your skin smooth and can also give you a radiant look.
b) Medium depth peels: Trichloroacetic acid is used for peeling in case of medium depth peels. It helps to treat skin problems like wrinkles, pigmentation or skin damage caused by the harmful rays of the sun.

c) Deep peels: Deep peels not only act upon the upper layer of your skin but they rather penetrate through different layers of your skin. Usually, phenol is used as the peeling agent.

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Popular Questions & Answers

Hello sir, I am looking for safe home chemical peel name with good brand. Please advice

MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Chennai
Use melawash at night, along with the following medicine. Send photos of the affected area for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
2 people found this helpful

Today I did chemical peeling to my face can I do eyebrow and forehead threading? Please advise

MBBS, DPD-Cardiff (U.K)
Dermatologist, Noida
No! Chemical peel makes your skin sensitive. Waxing and threading should be avoided for atleast a week before or after peeling sessions.
2 people found this helpful

Hi doctor i have some quetion Q1. Which chemical peel for me my dark spots? TCA Or AHA Q2. TCA PEEL SIDE EFFECT? Q3. AHA PEEL SIDE EFFECT?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, FRGUHS ? Dermatosurgery
Dermatologist, Bangalore
AHA peels can be used - discuss the side effect with your doctor before you take the peel. Mainly you must avoid direct sun exposure for upto a week after peel treatment. Warm regards
4 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
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