A chemical peel is a method used to enhance the appearance of the skin on the face, neck, back, arms, hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and ultimately peel off. The new, regenerated skin is mostly softer and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Chemical peels form an essential part of most aesthetic and cosmetic procedures. It is a cost-effective procedure for patients that can be achieved with great ease and expertise. Generally, chemical peels are safe, but only if used correctly and with caution. Over the years, we have seen a rise in skin peels used in clinics, and the range of skin conditions and disorders can be treated with this procedure.
Chemical peels are a way of rejuvenating the skin by extracting the keratin layer of dead skin cells that settles on the skin’s epidermal surface and also by promoting the production of renewed healthy epidermal cells. They are designed to introduce a controlled injury to the skin to a near precise depth.
As the healing occurs, there will be a difference in the skin’s texture and formation. This procedure helps with epidermal growth, with collagen stimulation in the underlying dermis, giving a tightening effect and even dispersal of melanin.
Solo peels means using a single agent as a peel, these are generally one of the ‘lightest’ peels and the only type of peel that can be used as a ‘lunchtime peel.’ As they are so superficial, there is rarely any downtime due to the treatment. The attractiveness of a superficial peel is that everyday life can continue almost instantly, and any light shedding can usually be disguised with makeup. Examples include salicylic, glycolic, tea, pyruvic peels, lactic acid peels.
When used sequentially or in combination, peels have valuable synergistic actions and better results when compatible agents are chosen. A common technique is one peel is painted and removed and followed sequentially by another peel in the same sitting, which can be extracted or left on slow-release peel. Sequential peels are still preferred to solo peels, as they exfoliate the upper layers of skin, and newly regenerated skin is produced. The downtime of these peels’ ranges from 3 to 7 days, as there will be slight skin peeling.
Examples include combination of salicylic and lactic peel which can be followed by yellow peel sealing.
Many more combinations can be done.
A specific chemical peel patient comes to a clinic because they want to improve the look of their skin. As numerous people have several thoughts on what they wish to do, the consultation process must show what the patient wants and aims to achieve.
As most people want ‘glowing skin,’ we must know what is classified as ‘healthy’ skin.
As aesthetic practitioners, it is vital that we understand what a patient is expecting from their skin peel and that we can inform them of all the possibilities available. Peels are a famous treatment, and when used accurately, the results can be extremely pleasing.
It is crucial to understand the different ingredients, their effect on the skin during and after treatment, and how they should be used. Patients should have a thorough consultation and skin analysis before treatment where all this information is discussed, so they can schedule the treatment into their life and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved.
The depth and type of peel chosen to treat the patient is dependent on their skin type and skin disorder being treated.
Some of the treatable skin disorders and concerns include:
Side-effects and downtime should also be discussed and taking images of the skin pre and post treatment gives a good baseline for future comparison.
The risks of side effects should be minimised with:
After a chemical peel it is likely the patient may experience dryness, which can be taken care by the liberal use of moisturisers. The application of a sun protection factor (SPF) 30-50 cream worn daily and avoiding direct sunlight is standard until the skin has recovered completely. This also maintains the results and so it is good practice to continue.
Skin peels can work very well as a stand-alone treatment. Over the last few years there has been more focus on the use of combination treatments such as combining skin peels with active product ranges, microdermabrasion, skin needling and laser-based treatments.
Although chemical peels are becoming increasingly popular in aesthetic and cosmetic clinics, and is a medical procedure and hence adequate medical supervision is required to ensure the patient’s safety.
In any scenario, we recommend you consult your dermatologist to achieve better results. We hope the above guide will clear all your doubts related to chemical peels and help you make the best decision for your skin type.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. In case you have any queries that Dr Navjot Arora at Dr Navjot Arora’s Dermaheal Skin, Hair and Aesthetics Clinic, Dwarka, Delhi can solve for you then please feel free to get in touch with us.