What is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels were used by the gypsies for centuries. Thier secret formulas were passed down by word of mouth. There are 3 main types of chemical peels. Superficial, medium and deep. The most popular are superficial peels with glycolic acid (50-70%), Jessner’s superficial peels and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) medium peels (usually 35%).
How does chemical peel act on the skin?
Chemical peels cause a burn much like sunburn, but without the long-term dangers linked to excessive exposure to the sun. Depending upon the type and concentration of the chemical used, the epidermis and the dermis, are destroyed. 24 hours later new cells begin to replace them and a new epidermis is produced. Two to three days after the procedure cells in the dermis called fibroblasts become active. These cells produce new collagen fibers which support the newly-created skin. During the first few days, the process of healing is accompanied by an inflammation which causes redness and various levels of swelling and burning.
What are the depths of the different types of chemical peels?
Superficial peel first causes injury to and then results in the peel of the epidermis to a depth of 0.3-0.5 millimeters. Medium chemical peels reach the middle of the dermis, a depth of 0.6-0.8 millimeters. Deep chemical peels destroy the epidermis and most of the dermis.
How is a chemical peel performed?
Superficial and medium peels are accompanied by slight pain which does not require anesthesia. The procedure is performed in the dermatologist’s office and takes about half an hour. It includes a thorough cleaning of the skin, after which the peeling solution is applied to the skin. The solution remains on the skin for a number of minutes and causes a burning itching sensation and slight pain which lasts from a matter of minutes to a matter of hours. The face remains red and slightly swollen for a few days to a week, depending on the depth of the peel. During the first week, the outer layer of skin peels off and a slight redness may remain for some weeks.
When are chemical peels performed?
Since during this period excessive exposure to the sun should be strictly avoided, most of these procedures are performed during the fall and winter.
How many chemical peels can one have?
It is both possible and desirable to perform two or three additional superficial peels at intervals of three to four weeks until the desired results have been obtained. A medium peel can be repeated once a year. Between treatments, products with retinoic or glycolic acid should be used regularly to preserve the results for as long as possible.
What are the advantages of superficial and medium peels compared to deep peels?
Superficial and medium chemical peels do not require anesthesia. In addition, there is no need for hospitalization or a supervised hotel stay after the treatment. Dangerous side effects, such as abnormal heart rate, have never been observed after superficial or medium peels. Whereas these adverse effects are possible during phenol deep peels. In addition, the risk of scarring pigmentation changes are much smaller for medium peels and actually zero for superficial peels. An additional advantage of superficial and medium peels is that the skin looks almost normal after the treatment. After a deep peel with phenol, the skin is white and smooth and looks like porcelain. It is extremely sensitive, and, in most people’s opinion, not fashionable.
What are the side effects of superficial and medium peels?
After a Jessner’s of Glycolic peel, there is a need to avoid sun exposure for at least a week. Makeup can be applied a few hours after the procedure. The patient can be back to school or work in the following day. After medium peeling with a 35% solution of trichloroacetic acid, the burn, redness, and peeling are more severe and normal activities can only be resumed after a week. An additional advantage of superficial chemical peels is that the change in the skin’s appearance is gradual. The downtime of the procedure is minimal and does not interfere with the patient’s normal routine.
Who can benefit from a superficial chemical peel?
Almost anyone over the age of 30 can benefit from superficial chemical peels!
This type of peel renews the upper layers of the skin and makes it look smoother and fresher. For young people with acne, superficial chemical peels can reduce both the active pimples and the post acne brown spots. For real acne scars there usually need to perform a fractional microneedle RF procedure.
Who can benefit from a medium chemical peel?
Medium chemical peels are frequently used to improve wrinkles and sun-induced brown spots. This kind of peel brings good results and can be repeated once every few years.