What is Chemical Peel
Chemical peels are the fruit acid extracts which are applied to the skin for a specific time period to have chemoexfoliation of the skin. Our skin is made of mainly 3 layers, upper epidermis, Middle dermis, & subcutaneous tissue. The upper layer of the epidermis is further divided into 5 layers.
Different kind of peels acts on different layers of skin. Depending upon their level of penetration they can be classified as superficial peels, Medium depth peels & deep peels. Every type of peel is having a specific indication to treat various problems on the skin.
Types Of Chemical Peels:-
- Superficial peels:
Acts on the upper layer of the epidermis called stratum corneum& allow the destruction of the epidermis. These include AHA peels such as glycolic peels [35 % to 50 %], lactic acid peels 40 % etc.
Downtime:- These peels doesn’t involve much downtime. Also called as lunch hour peel means one can join their office or work immediately after the session
- Medium depth peels:-
Causes the destruction of the Epidermis, papillary dermis & reticular dermis. These include TCA [35 to 50 % ]Jesseners solution with TCA, Glycolic acid 70 % etc.
Downtime:- After medium depth peels, redness, itching & flakiness, dryness on the skin may persist for 3 to 4 days, which can be concealed easily with foundation or moisturizers.
- Deep peels:-
Are usually acting on the deep layer of the dermis, which has collagen & elastin fibers, which are responsible for tightness & firmness on the skin. These are responsible for the destruction of epidermis, Pappilary dermis up to mid-reticular dermis. These include phenol peels.
Downtime:- These peels involves more healing time as they act into deep dermis. Downtime will be for 8 to 10 days. Strict photoprotection is advisable to avoid getting PIH.
- Dull Skin, Uneven complexion
- Skin rejuvenation.
- Blackheads, whiteheads
- Cystic acne
- To reduce fine lines, wrinkles on the skin.
- Under Eye Dark Circle
Choice of peel :
Choice of chemical peel treatment depends upon the condition of the patients’ skin & patients level of expectation with chemical peel treatment. Different types of chemical peels can be used depending upon the condition to treat.
For eg:- Glycolic acid can be used with different concentrations of uneven complexion, for skin rejuvenation acne prone skin, Under eye dark circles.Salicylic acid peels can be used to treat pigmentation, post acne PIH spots, active acne lesions. Medium depth peels like TCA, Nomelan Phenols can be used to treat Melasma, freckles etc.
Nowadays, one solution of chemical peel has also come with 2 to 3 ingredients in it, to give better results when used in combination. Anybody having normal to oily skin, not having an active infection on the skin, not having any history of photoallergy. or photosensitivity can go for chemical peel session under guidance f board certified, experienced dermatologist.
Strengths of chemical peels:
Which strengths of chemical peels to use entirely depend upon the patient skin type & problem to be treated. One can trust a good quality, chemical peel product in terms of its concentration to be more effective. As there are many chemical peels on the market, which are showing its concentration on a product, but in reality, they are very weak to act. A consultation with an experienced dermatologist is needed to get desirable outcome after treatment.
Before going for chemical peels session one should not have :
- More Dryness on skin, irritation & itching.
- The skin should not have any active wound, which will need some time to heal.
- The patient should not have any history of photosensitivity.
There should not be any recent episode of tanning or heavy sun exposure.
- Whether he or she is on regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreen, should be asked.
- Previous &recent treatment History in terms of oral & topical medications should be taken in detail to avoid any complications after chemical peels session.
For eg:- Many of the patients use different OTC products without the guidance of a dermatologist, these may contain certain steroids. Long-term application of which may lead to redness, telangiectasia on the skin.Such patient cannot tolerate chemical peel session as their skin becomes sensitive & irritable with steroid applications.