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Chemical Peel Treatment

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure involving the application of a chemical solution to the skin to remove its top layers. The skin surface that grows afterward is smoother, rejuvenated, and has reduced aging signs. This treatment is most often performed on the face to improve the appearance of wrinkles and scars and reduce discoloration.

The number of chemical peeling sessions depends on the problem being treated and the depth of the chemical peel. Treatment with light or medium peels typically requires multiple sessions, while deep chemical peel is generally performed only once.

What Are The Types Of Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels are chiefly divided into three types:

  • Superficial or light peels
  • Medium peels
  • Deep peels

Superficial Peels

Superficial or light chemical peel targets the topmost skin layer (epidermis). It is mostly performed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and dryness. It may even help treat acne.

Superficial peels are typically performed using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which may include:

  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Tartaric acid
  • Malic acid

Light peels are sometimes performed using Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). The type of BHA commonly used in this regard is salicylic acid.

Medium Peels

Medium peels target the epidermis and a portion of the middle skin layer (dermis). They are commonly used for treating uneven skin tone, acne scars, and wrinkles. It may also be used to treat dark underarms.

The chemical solution typically used in medium peels is trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Sometimes, TCA peels may be preceded by a light peel with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid, for a more uniform penetration of TCA.

Deep Peels

Deep chemical peeling removes cells from the deeper skin layers. This option is generally prescribed for treating deep wrinkles, scars, and it may even help treat precancerous growths.

The chemical solution used in deep peeling treatments is Carbolic acid, also called Phenol.

Who Are Good Candidates For Chemical Peels?

While chemical peels are suitable for most people due to their availability in varying intensities, they are usually best suited for people with lighter-toned skin.

Furthermore, you may need to consult your dermatologist to discuss your candidacy if any of the following conditions are true in your case:

  • A history of abnormal scarring on your skin.
  • Dark skin tone.
  • Susceptibility to having pigmentation changes in your scars.
  • Any condition or medication that increases your skin sensitivity.
  • A recent history of acne medication use.

What Are The Benefits Of Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels can address various skin problems, some of which are discussed below:

  • They Help Treat Acne: Light and medium peels can treat acne and reduce the risk of breakouts by unclogging pores, decreasing oil production, eliminating p.acnes bacteria, and reducing inflammation.
  • They May Reduce Acne scars: Chemical peels can exfoliate the top skin layer, reducing the appearance of different types of scars. They also stimulate collagen production in the treated areas, causing raised, hypertrophic, and atrophic scars to become less visible.
  • They Can Reduce Rosacea Symptoms: Certain types of chemical peels have been found helpful in improving the symptoms of mild to moderate rosacea.
  • They Help Lessen The Impact Of Skin Aging: Chemical peels can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, age spots, rough texture, skin dryness, and liver spots.
  • They Can Reduce Hyperpigmentation: Chemical peels may help reduce hyperpigmentation, improving your complexion. Forms of hyperpigmentation commonly treated with chemical peels include freckles, uneven skin tone, sun damage, and melasma.
  • They Help Eliminate Precancerous Growths: Actinic keratosis, a precancerous growth, can be removed with deep chemical peels, reducing the skin cancer risk.

How Is A Chemical Peel Performed?

The chemical peel procedure is performed in a clinical setting or outpatient surgical facility, depending on the type of peeling solution chosen. Before starting the procedure, the dermatologist will clean the treatment area, cover your eyes with goggles, and protect your hair.

You won’t usually need a numbing solution or anesthesia for a light chemical peel. However, before performing a medium peel, the doctor will give you a painkiller and sedative to help you relax during the procedure. For deep peels, which are the most intensive type, you will be given a sedative, a numbing solution, and IV fluids.

The chemical peel procedure can vary from case to case, typically based on the peeling solution used. Below is a brief explanation of the steps involved in light, medium, and deep chemical peels.

Light Chemical Peel Procedure

  • The doctor will apply a chemical solution containing glycolic or salicylic acid using a brush, sponge, or gauze. This will cause whitening of the treated area.
  • The peeling solution may cause a mild stinging sensation, which is not generally much painful.
  • After some time, the doctor will apply a neutralizing solution or remove the peeling solution by washing it.

Medium Chemical Peel Procedure

  • The doctor will apply a solution containing trichloroacetic acid, sometimes combined with glycolic acid, to the treatment area using gauze or a cotton-tipped applicator. This will cause the skin to whiten.
  • After a few minutes of application, the doctor will apply a cold compress to the treated area. They may also give you a hand-held fan to soothe the treated skin. Medium peels do not usually need neutralizing.
  • Medium peels may cause a burning and stinging sensation lasting up to 20 minutes.

Deep Chemical Peel Procedure

  • The doctor will apply Phenol to your skin using a cotton-tipped applicator. This will result in the treated skin turning white or gray.
  • They will likely perform this procedure in portions to limit your skin exposure to Phenol. These portions are spaced 15 minutes apart. Hence, the deep chemical peel procedure may last about 90 minutes for the entire face.

Post-Treatment: What to Expect and Aftercare

When performed by expert dermatologists and practitioners, chemical peel treatment should be safe and cause fewer complications. Here are a few things you must remember after getting treated with chemical peels.

  • Chemical peels will likely cause some side effects, but they are usually temporary and do not cause significant discomfort. They may include tingling, burning, redness, irritation, and mild swelling in the treated region.
  • Your skin may start to peel after three to five days of the treatment. When that happens, the treated skin area may seem similar to that affected by sunburn. It is imperative not to pull the peeling skin during that time.
  • Chemical peels trigger mild reactions in most cases. However, it is essential to be vigilant with your skincare throughout the recovery duration. Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your skin.
  • Your doctor may advise avoiding makeup and other cosmetic products for 1-2 weeks to prevent irritation.
  • It is essential not to expose your treated skin area to the sun for a period specified by your dermatologist. You will likely be advised to apply sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or above before going out.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and high temperatures for at least two weeks to prevent the worsening of what could have been mild and temporary side effects.

Cost of Chemical Peels

The average starting cost of chemical peels in Dubai is AED 475. The exact price of the treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors:

  • Type of chemical peel used for the treatment
  • Type and extent of the problem being treated
  • The expertise of the practitioner
  • Geographic location and reputation of the clinic or treatment facility

Who should avoid chemical peels?

Your doctor may not prescribe you a chemical peel if you:

  • Have been taking oral isotretinoin for the past six months.
  • Have a person or family history of keloid scars.
  • Have had severe or frequent outbreaks of cold sores in the recent past.
  • Are pregnant or nursing.

How often should I get chemical peels?

The frequency of chemical peels depends on the type of peel, the condition of the skin, and the desired outcome. Superficial peels can often be repeated every 2-4 weeks, while medium peels are generally done 6-12 months apart, and deep peels are usually performed only once. You can get more specific details about the required number of sessions and their frequency with a qualified dermatologist.

Can I get results after one chemical peel?

Yes, you may get noticeable results after one chemical peel treatment. After the first session, you will likely notice a significantly improved skin tone, reduced appearance of acne and acne scars, and a smoother skin texture.

What Is A Cosmelan Peel?

A Cosmelan peel is a topical treatment that targets brown patches and skin discolorations. This treatment helps reduce the amount of melanin concentrations to give you a brighter and more even skin tone.

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Medical Aesthetician
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