A chemical peel is a technique used by dermatologists and estheticians to improve the skin’s appearance, as well as areas on the neck and hands. A chemical solution is applied to the surface of the skin in layers, depending on the severity of the skin’s issues. The purpose of the chemical peel is to cause the skin to shed old and damaged skin and naturally exfoliate to reveal new regenerated skin that is usually smoother and healthier.
Skin conditions that chemical peels treat:
- Acne/acne scarring
- Aging skin
- Sun damaged skin
There are a variety of chemical peels that are available depending on what your skin condition requires. The three basic types of peels are:
- Superficial peels: This chemical solution consists of a mild acid to penetrate the outermost layer of the skin’s surface and gently exfoliates it. This peel is best to improve the appearance of discoloration and refresh the area where the peel is applied.
- Medium peel: This type of peel usually consists of a glycolic acid that penetrates the surface and middle layers of the skin and removes damaged skin cells. Medium peels are most effective to improve age spots, lines and wrinkles, and moderate skin discoloration. The skin is left feeling smoother and refreshed.
- Deep peel: A deep peel solution has a strong acid such as trichloroacetic acid, which penetrates deep beneath the skin’s surface to remove damaged skin cells and harsh skin conditions. The results from a deep peel are dramatic, and due to the strength of the peel, it can only be applied once.
Chemical peels are applied by a dermatologist, who will brush the solution over a clean skin surface. Patients can expect the chemical peels to sting, or may feel a slight burning sensation during the time of the application. Once the treatment is complete, patients may experience redness similar to a sunburn, swelling, and some irritation. Your dermatologist will suggest the best skin care products after your chemical peel.