What is a chemical peel ?
Also called exfoliation treatment, it is a technique of skin regeneration, thus having an “anti-aging” effect. An evaluation before treatment as well as the treatment itself must be done by a physician experienced in dermatology.
Different chemical substances can be used.
By this technique, skin is exfoliated followed by cutaneous regeneration. The “new” skin is smoother and appears “healthier”.
What are the indications for a chemical peel ?
-Acne: closed comedones and black spots, superficial scars.
–Pigmented lesions: sun spots and age-related spots, freckles, melasma (chloasma, pregnancy mask)…
-Fine wrinkles, especially around the eyes, which are related to cumulative sun damage.
What are the types of chemical peels ?
Several are available including the following 3:
-glycolic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid)
-Jessner’s solution (salicylic acid and lactic acid)
How does the treatment take place ?
-discussion with a dermatologist of the depth of treatment and the substance to use.
-stop using some drugs (e.g. vitamin A-based creams).
-The number of treatments needed (may vary):
- 2-4 sessions for acne, more if there are scars.
- 1-3 sessions for freckles but more if pigmentation is deeper.
-the dermatologist applies the substance for 5-10 minutes and a sensation of burning may be felt. Deeper peels are more painful and require the use of anesthetic creams.
-For a few days following the treatment, the face is red. Deeper peels carry the important risk of hyperpigmentation following the treatment and the skin may only exfoliate (=peel) up to two weeks after the treatment session.
What to do after the treatment session ?
-apply emollient (moisturizing) creams often after the treatment.
-do not touch the treated area.
-avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen (or sunblock).
-do not apply anti-aging creams for a week.
What are the complications ?
They depend on the depth of the treatment and include:
–post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, reversible within 4 months, more frequent in dark skin types. Also more frequent when taking isotretinoin.
-herpes simplex infections
What are treatment limitations ?
-It doesn’t affect pore size.
-It doesn’t improve the appearance of broken vessels.
-It doesn’t improve deep scars and deep wrinkles.
-It doesn’t affect skin tone.
Also discuss with the dermatologist of alternate possible treatments.
Source of information: here