A chemical peel is a beauty treatment in which a chemical solution is applied to the client’s skin to remove the topmost layers. Chemical peels are most often applied to the face but may also be applied to the hands or upper torso.
Depending on the strength of the chemicals used, peels can remove one to several layers of skin. The milder peels remove dead skin cells and thus reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They also improve overall skin tone.
Stronger peels can reduce scarring, sun damage and deeper lines or wrinkles. Deep peels, the most powerful, can even remove precancerous growths. No chemical peel can tighten sagging skin or reduce pore size.
Types of chemical peels
Light or superficial chemical peels are the gentlest, and they are one of those procedures sometimes described as a “lunchtime procedure.” They remove the epidermis or topmost layer of skin and make the client’s skin look smoother and brighter. Light peels can remove dry, flaky skin, age spots, some sun damage, mild scarring, and fine wrinkles or lines.
The chemicals used are generally alpha hydroxy (AHA) or beta hydroxy acids (BHA) and can include glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid. Fruit enzymes and acids from plants like pineapples, pumpkins or cranberries can also be used. Most people need six to ten treatments to get the best results. The patient may need little recovery time.
A medium peel usually involves trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which penetrates deeper into the skin and is used to treat wrinkles, discoloration and sun damage. It is stronger and more effective than a light peel, but that means it is also more likely to cause side effects and has a longer recovery period. A medium peel can also cause temporary stinging and burning. During the recovery period, the patient’s skin can become pink, swollen and itchy, and it will be more likely to peel.
Deep peels are the strongest chemical peels and can thus achieve the most dramatic results and repair the most severe damage related to aging or the sun. In a deep peel, a very strong TCA can be used to remove even the deeper or dermal layers of the skin. While other peels can be done at spas, a deep peel can be performed only by a doctor. Deep peels may cause discomfort.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in seeing how chemical peels can benefit you, contact Nuance Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule an appointment. We will be able to review your concerns and develop a treatment plan suitable for your cosmetic needs.