Chemical Peels

Chemical peeling is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes it to separate, peel off, and allows new skin to regenerate. The new skin is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin, and may also be more even in color.

Chemical peeling is used to treat fine lines, certain types of acne, freckles, liver spots, age spots, and blotchiness due to taking birth control pills. Skin that is dull in texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling. Sunscreen must be used in conjunction with chemical peels since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to injury.

Procedure

Before a chemical peel, it is important for a patient to inform the dermatologist of any past history of keloids, recurring cold sores, or unusual scarring tendencies for proper precautions to be taken. Your dermatologist will recommend the best peel for your skin problems.

The procedure may be performed on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms, and legs. A solution is applied to the skin to help peel off layers of skin, enabling rejuvenated skin to appear. During the procedure, most patients experience a warm to hot sensation that may last about five to 10 minutes, followed by a stinging sensation, like a sunburn. Superficial peeling usually involves redness, followed by flaking that lasts several days.

The procedure does not result in any downtime. You can get a superficial peel during your lunch hour and return to work.

Recovery

Medium-depth peels can sometimes result in swelling and blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of days. It does require time to heal, depending on the depth of the peel. Consult your physician about the expected healing time for your particular procedure.

Chemical peels cannot improve loose or sagging skin; other procedures will be required. Chemical peeling does not remove deep scars. It cannot change pore size, but it could make the pore size less noticeable.