Chemical peeling is one of the cosmetic treatments provided to reverse the signs of ageing and to peel away your skin imperfections. Chemical peeling can be done on face, neck and hands. It is one of the most misunderstood cosmetic treatments because of the scary pictures of celebrities showing painful looking skin, redness and flaking.
The fact is, these pictures are the result of old, outdated traditional chemical peels which may result in some unpleasant side effects. Chemical peelings are for those who want dramatic and instant anti-ageing effects. Peels are specially designed to improve pigmentation, wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, clogged pores, skin firmness and much more.
There is a lot of improvement in the procedure and the effectiveness of advanced level peels with minimal flaking, redness and no downtime. This has made life easier after peeling.
If you want to know about the procedure, types and the after effects of peeling, KEEP READING…
What is chemical peeling:
Chemical peeling is an acidic solution (or less often, basic) which is applied evenly all over the face. It works by removing superficial dead skin layer along with treating pigmentation and sun damaged skin. As a result, it gives a fresh looking and glowing skin.
Chemical peeling also unclog the pores and increase collagen production modestly.
What are the different types of chemical peeling:
Chemical peeling is performed by medical professionals or trained skin aestheticians at Glow and Go Skin Bar – Skin Care Clinic Lahore. It is classified into three main types according to the penetration of agents used.
- Superficial peels
- Medium peels
- Deep peels
Chemical peels which are common now-a-days are superficial or light chemical peels. Mild peeling agents are used in the superficial peels which only penetrate the outermost skin layer and gently exfoliate. In contrast to this, medium peels penetrate up to the middle layer crossing the outermost layer.
Medium peels are more effective in removing superficial dead skin as compared to superficial peels. Deep peels penetrate deeper than the other two types of peels. These peels fully penetrate into the middle layer and remove damaged skin.
How chemical peels work:
During chemical peeling, an acidic solution (or less often, basic) is applied evenly all over the face. It works by removing superficial dead skin layer along with treating pigmentation and sun damaged skin. As a result, it gives a fresh looking and glowing skin.
Chemical peeling also unclog pores and increase collagen production modestly.
The main purpose of chemical peeling is to remove the superficial dull, dead skin layers. Desmosomes are the protein bonds which hold the dead skin cells and maintain the integrity of the basal layer. When these bonds break, it is easy to remove superficial dead skin layer. Alpha Hydroxy acids are very good agents to break these bonds.
Why get a chemical peel:
The main purpose of chemical peeling is to have fresher skin and to treat premature signs of ageing. Improves acne and discoloration. The minor skin issues like discoloration, surface scarring, acne, sun spots and fine lines can be treated with superficial peels. Sometimes superficial peels are also recommended to prepare the skin for medium and deep peels.
Medium depth peels are effective for superficial discoloration, mild photo damage, enhance the vitality of skin, remove fine wrinkles and improve overall texture of skin.
Deep peels are not for everyone, people having coarse wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damaged skin are recommended to have deep peels.
Chemical peel is not for:
- Chemical peels are not designed to treat deep wrinkles, laugh lines and expression lines.
- Broken vessels and facial redness cannot be treated with chemical peels.
- Anyone having an active viral or bacterial infection is not recommended for chemical peeling.
- People having a history regarding use of drugs with photosensitizing potential are also contraindicated to chemical peels.
- Chemical peeling cannot be done on people having anti-inflammatory dermatoses like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and pemphigus.
- Facial melanoma (facial cancer) is avoided in chemical peels.
- In case of deep and medium depth peels, people having history of isotretinoin use in the last 12 months, keloids and atrophic skin are contraindicated.
Chemical peel types:
Salicylic acid peels:
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which is used to treat acne and control excessive sebum production. The low doses (up to 2%) of salicylic acid is used in over-the-counter products and treatments whereas the concentration of 10 to 30% is used in chemical peeling. Salicylic acid is oil soluble and can easily penetrate into the pores. It unclog the pores and treats acne. People who are allergic to aspirin should avoid salicylic acid peel.
Glycolic acid Peels:
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It is the natural derivative of fruits and sugarcane. It is used in chemical peels in the concentration of 20 to 70%. It is also incorporated into over the counter products but in lesser concentration.
The main purpose of glycolic acid peels is to restore even skin tone, improve sun damage to provide “freshen skin” and treat discoloration. Glycolic acid also unclog the pores and improve acne prone skin. The strength and time duration of glycolic acid peel varies for effects. Glycolic acid peels are usually removed after 2 to 4 minutes of application because the long term application may lead to side effects.
Trichoroacetic Acid Peels:
Trichloroacetic acid TCA is a bit stronger peeling agent which penetrates deeper into skin layers. In superficial chemical peels, 10 to 30% concentration of TCA is used whereas in medium depth peels, 35 to 50% TCA is used. Glycolic acid treats fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. A week or so is required for the healing after medium depth peels. Areas other than face may require more than a week to recover.
Combination peels means two or more active ingredients are incorporated in the peeling solution. The peeling agents which are used in combination may include citric acid, lactic acid or mandelic acid. Exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid are also available in fusion peels. Salicylic acid peel can be applied in combination with lactic acid peel to treat acne plus pigmentation. The TCA and Glycolic acid are also combined to treat multiple skin issues like pigmentation, acne and premature signs of ageing.
What to expect after chemical Peel:
Multiple sittings of chemical peeling are required to get the desired results. Almost 3 to 6 treatment sessions are required 2 to 4 weeks apart. Maintenance treatments or homecare products are also required to maintain the results of chemical peel.
How will you look after chemical peel:
In superficial peels, mild redness may occur during the treatment and dead skin will flake off for almost 5 to 7 days. In some cases, mild flaking occurs but dryness persists for 10 days maximum. In case of medium depth peels, 7 to 10 days are required for peeling and dryness and noticeable dryness also occurs.
Possible side effects of chemical Peel:
Usually chemical peels do not have any complications or problems but the possible side effects include infection, skin discoloration or even scarring. The possibility of side effects is less in case of light or superficial peels but the chances are high in medium and deep peels. Post care instructions should be followed after peeling to avoid or minimize side effects. Try to protect your skin from direct sunlight or wear sunscreen with a higher SPF. Direct sun exposure to sunlight may lead to skin darkening, hyperpigmentation, burning and sunburn.
Physical exfoliation V/s chemical exfoliation:
Exfoliation is the process of removal of superficial dull, damaged, dead skin. After 20s, the natural exfoliation rate slows down due to reduced cellular turnover rate and the dead skin cells start accumulating on the surface. So, removal of dead skin cells is necessary to reveal a fresh looking skin. This can be performed either by physical exfoliation or chemical exfoliation.
In physical exfoliation, scrubs and other granular creams are used. These scrubs are physically massaged on face to remove the dead skin but these scrubs act superficially and gives temporary results.
Whereas in chemical exfoliation, peeling agents or exfoliants are used which penetrate deeper into skin layers and removes the superficial dead skin. Chemical exfoliants increase the cellular turnover rate which leads to skin rejuvenation.
Chemical peels are very useful in treating skin issues and reverse the signs of ageing. A trained professional is required to perform this in-office chemical peeling and to avoid side effects. Chemical peeling is one of the treatments which helps to improve the early signs of sun damage, acne and make skin tone even.