Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. Everyone wants a supple, radiant, and beautiful skin tone. But as we grow older, the dead skin cells do not slough off as it happened when young, this makes the skin appear dull and lifeless. Non-surgical cosmetic options such as chemical peeling can help remove this lifeless layer and make the skin look glowing, youthful and healthier.
What is chemical peeling?
Chemical peeling is one amongst the most preferred skin toning treatments. It involves the application of a chemical solution that helps peel off the dead skin layers. The procedure helps remove blemishes, reduces pigmentation, fixes acne problems and ultimately gives the skin an improved texture and leaves a rejuvenated look.
Types of chemical peeling
- Superficial peels are the mildest type of chemical peel. They can be used on all skin types. In most cases, they use liquid containing a mild (dilute) acid, most often glycolic acid. Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) is sometimes used.
- Medium peels soak deeper into the skin than superficial peels do. They cause a burn of the skin. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the main peeling agent used for medium peels. The peel may also be done in several steps using a different chemical liquid followed by TCA.
- Deep peels soak into several layers of skin and cause a burn. They are used only on the face. A chemical called phenol is usually used for a deep peel. Deep peels may not be used on darker skin types, because they tend to bleach the skin. Even in lighter-skinned people, phenol peels-or any type of deep resurfacing-may bleach the skin. A deep peel can be done only once in most cases.
How is the procedure performed?
The procedure may differ based on your aesthetic goals, the area which should be treated and the thickness of the skin. Your dermatologist suggests the best approach that suits your requirement.
Firstly, the dermatologist cleans up your skin thoroughly. Then applies the chemical solution to the target area on the skin, the solution usually includes salicylic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid or carbolic acid.
Before the procedure, your dermatologist may prepare your skin by using medications such as glycolic acid, Retin-A, and may also prescribe antivirals and antibiotics. Your aesthetic expectations help the dermatologist determine the type and depth of the peeling.
During the procedure, you may feel a burning sensation for not more than five to ten minutes followed by a pricking sensation. Applying a cold compression and a pain medication may relieve the pain during or after the procedure.
What to expect immediately after the procedure?
Chemical peeling usually leaves redness and scaling that lasts for three to seven days post-procedure. Mild peels are repeated within one to four weeks of gap till you reach the expected appearance.
In medium to deep peeling, you may notice blisters and inflammation that turn dark and peel off over a period of one to two weeks. You can repeat the medium peels in six to 12 months if needed.
After care and recovery
After the procedure, you will have to stay away from sunlight for several months as your skin is delicate. You must use a good sunscreen to protect your skin. If the area around your eyes has been treated, wear sunglasses when going outdoors. During the recovery, you must carefully observe for the signs of complications.