Over the years, the wear and tear from age, weather, pollutants and cosmetics can give facial skin a dull and wrinkled appearance. Fortunately, chemical peels are available that remove the upper layers of the skin to reveal newer skin below to provide a fresher and brighter effect. However, before choosing a chemical peel, you should understand the different options and what they can, and cannot, do to yield the best results.
What Chemical Peels Can Do For Facial Skin
A chemical peel can also improve the texture of the face, smoothing the surface and removing the build-up of surface oils and dirt. Deep peels can help to remove discolorations and scars from the skin. Different types of compounds are used to achieve various results. Your physician will explain the different type of facial peels that are available and will advise you on the best choice for your needs.
What Happens During A Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are generally done in an aesthetic clinic or doctor’s office. Your eyes will be carefully covered to ensure safety and your skin cleaned. If necessary, a local anesthetic will be applied to the skin. In some cases, a sedative will be administered to keep you comfortable during the procedure. The chemical compound is then applied to the skin with cotton, gauze or some type of instrument. It is left on the skin for a period of time. A neutralizer may be applied afterward. For some types of peels, ice or other cooling agents may be applied to aid healing. A dressing may or may not be needed, depending on the type of procedure.
Types of Chemical Peels
· Light peels – These peels generally use alpha-hydroxy acid or other mild acid compound to generally exfoliate the top layers of skin. This procedure brightens and freshens the look of face, hands, neck or chest.
· Medium peels – A medium peels employs glycolic or trichloroacetic acid to remove damage from the skin surface. These compounds penetrate more deeply to lighten age spots, remove fine lines and even skin coloration.
· Deep peels – A deep peel uses phenol or trichloroacetic acid to penetrate deeply into the skin. It can remove shallow scars, erase fine to moderate lines, and eliminate age spots. Deep peels are generally done on the face and can only be done once to avoid damage to delicate skin.
Caring For Skin After A Chemical Peel
Light peels require about 7 days to heal. The treated area may appear reddened with peeling skin during this time. Medium peels require about 14 days to heal. Swelling may be present that gradually reduces over time. Blisters, skin crusts or peeling may occur for a period of time. Camouflage makeup can be worn after 5 to 7 days until full healing occurs. Deep peels require a longer period of recovery, about 14 to 21 days. Redness, peeling and lesions may be present, which may require bandaging. Smoking and sun exposure should be avoided after any type of peel to prevent scarring or infection of the treated area.
Your skin care specialist can provide additional information on choosing the right product for your individual needs. Follow your physician’s instructions carefully, and you will be pleased and gratified by the look of your skin’s new appearance.