Chemical Peels

There are three types of peel:

Superficial peel is the most commonly used, it removes the outer layer of cells, lightly exfoliating the skin to give a healthy glow.

Medium-depth peel penetrates further into the skin to reduce small wrinkles and acne scars, and to even out skin colour and tone.

Deep peel is not widely available (we don’t provide this), it penetrates the lower dermal layer of the skin to remove or lessen deeper wrinkles, lines and scars.

Most often used to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin on the face or backs of hands. They are also effective on some spots and blemishes and acne scarring.

Chemical Peels can’t alter the size of pores, improve sagging skin or remove deep scarring.

Superficial peel is a quick and easy treatment. The face is cleansed and peel painted on and left for two to ten minutes. Mild stinging may occur. The peel is then washed off and neutralised.

The skin will look pink afterwards and may show faint white discolouration or blotches which fade in one or two hours. There are no after-effects, and you can go straight back to normal daily life.

Repeat the treatment weekly for four to six weeks, and maintain the effect with a monthly peel.

Medium-depth peel -The skin is cleansed and peel applied evenly. The treated area turns whitish grey over several minutes. Cool saline compresses are then applied to neutralise the acid in the peel. The face may swell when the peel is applied, and burning or stinging lasts for about an hour after treatment.

Recovery takes a week or more, depending on how quickly you heal (older skin heals more slowly). In the five to six days after treatment, the skin may turn dark brown, with white streaks. It will itch and begin to peel, after which the skin is bright red, fading to fresh pink over the next three to six weeks.

Repeat the treatment monthly until you achieve the effect you want, and then maintain it with a peel every 6-12 months.

Results
After a superficial peel, the skin immediately looks brighter and more radiant.
With the moderate and deep peels, you won’t see the results until the skin has peeled off, then healed. It’s important to follow the after-care instructions you’ll be given, to help the skin to heal successfully.

Risks
Chemical peels probably won’t be recommended if you have a history of skin scarring, any abnormal pigmentation, facial warts, Afro-Caribbean or Asian skin (loss of skin pigments can occur), red hair and freckled skin, or have used certain acne treatments within the last year.

Superficial peel
Using a high factor sunscreen at all times helps prevent the problem of increased pigmentation. New skin may have too much pigment which will turn to brown blotches in sunlight (hyper-pigmentation). A rare side-effect is skin infection or cold sores, in patients with a history of these complaints. Use of antiviral medication is recommended prior to peeling in patients with history of cold sores.

Medium-depth peel
Increased pigmentation (Hyper-pigmentation) can occur even if you use sunscreens. Brown blotches can be treated with bleaching creams. The red face can sometimes last longer than two to three months. Permanent scarring is a very rare risk.

Alternatives to a chemical peel.
Anti-ageing cosmetics containing fruit acids, or retinol, could improve the skin’s appearance.

Stop smoking and drinking, take regular exercise to improve circulation, have a healthy diet, and use sunscreen—- all help prevent deterioration in the skin’s condition.

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