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Chemical Peels - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2019

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 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.

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 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 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.

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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 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.

How much does a Chemical peel treatment session cost?

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.

How long do the effects of chemical peels last?

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 chemical peels?

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.

Key highlights

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: Medium

Recovery Time: Low

Price Range: RS. 1500 - Rs. 3000 per session

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