A chemical peel sounds like a risky step to take. After all, who exactly likes hearing ‘chemical’ when talking about treatments for their skin? They’re perfectly safe, with only a few isolated cases gone wrong, experts assure us. Regardless of how scarce these side effects may be, everyone interested is entitled to know the whole story. Therefore, continue reading to find out everything you can expect from a chemical peel – benefits, side effects, and the process itself.
#1 Chemical Peel Benefits
First of all, know why you should get chemical peels in the first place.
- They can treat wrinkles, both the ones caused by aging and sun-generated ones.
- Serve as treatments for certain, milder types of acne.
- Can boost the fading of some types of scars.
- Help reduce the freckles, age spots, or dark patches of skin.
- Treat the fine lines around your mouth and eyes.
- Generally help your skin regenerate.
#2 Chemical Peel Types
You can classify chemical peels through two types of criteria: based on their strength and based on the kind of chemical agent that they use.
Chemical Peels by Strength:
- Superficial/Light: Only act on the first layer of skin and can help generally improve appearance and feel. Useful for flaking or dry skin, as well as dark spots and wrinkles.
- Medium: Act deeper under the skin and are useful in treating sun damage or issues of pigmentation.
- Deep: Helpful for wrinkles, scarring, and deep lines, these chemical peels are the strongest, but also the most damaging.
The deeper your chemical peeling goes, the bigger the toll on your skin. For instance, it can take you months to recover from a deep peel and your skin won’t look very good after a procedure.
Chemical Peels by Agents:
- Glycolic acid;
- Lactic acid;
- Salicylic acid;
- Fruit enzymes;
- Tartaric acid;
- Malic acid;
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA);
- Carbolic acid.
#3 Preparing for a Chemical Peel
Head for a doctor’s office. You will need to make sure you don’t have a history of skin issues that could provoke any unpleasant side effects. Sometimes, you may need to cut off current meditation or prepare by applying lotions which already contain bits of the agent you want to use, to harden your skin.
#4 During a Chemical Peel
The procedure varies depending on depth, but generally the process goes like this:
- The doctor thoroughly cleans your skin.
- Then, they apply a respective chemical and let it act.
- Patients feel a tingling sensation (for light peels) or a burning sensation (deeper peels).
Sometimes, you may require pain killers when undergoing a deep peeling.
#5 What Comes After
- Your skin will experience redness and scaling, similar to sunburn.
- Medium peels and above may involve swelling and blisters.
- You should avoid sun contact for a few months since your new layer of skin is sensitive.
Chemical peeling side effects may involve scarring, reactivation of cold sores, or development of color change in the skin. These instances are rare, however.
All in all, a chemical peel is a relatively safe procedure. The key here is moderation – don’t overdo it and you’ll be fine. Luckily, if you can’t handle what comes with deep peels, you can always settle for the common and safe light ones.