A chemical peel is a technique that is used to improve the appearance and texture of your face by using a chemical solution. A chemical peel can help in the removal of wrinkles, blemishes, and skin pigmentation. It also helps in the removal of scars that were formed due to acne and acne itself.
A chemical peel needs to be conducted by a qualified plastic surgeon due to the nature of chemicals being used on the skin. It is also only possible for a plastic surgeon to advice the right type of peel that needs to be used on the skin, depending on the skin type and the actual treatment needs of an individual.
There are three kinds of chemical peel formulae that are most commonly used.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids. This is the mildest form of chemical peel available and is normally used to remove very fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin pigmentation, and areas of dryness on the face. The AHA’s are normally fruit acids, glycolic acid, or lactic acid.
TCA stands for tricholoro acetic acid. This form of peel has a slightly greater impact that the AHA peel. This peel is used to treat fine wrinkles, blemishes, and pigmentation.
The phenol peel is considered to be the strongest of all peels and can offer dramatic results. It is a deep peel that is used to treat deep wrinkles and skin that is damaged by sunburn or blotching
This peel may also be effective in the removal of pre-cancerous growth on the skin.
Any of the abovementioned peels are applied in varying concentrations, depending on the needs of the patient. The required concentration can only be assessed by an experienced plastic surgeon. It is important to know that all these peels have some minor side effects, although they are normally safe.
The AHA peel can cause a stinging sensation and redness in the skin with a minor irritation. The TCA peel can cause some unintended color changes in the skin. Patients who are undergoing TCA peel are also advised to stay away from direct sun for a couple of months. The Phenol peel can be risky for people who have heart disease. Patients who are undergoing a phenol peel will have to constantly protect their skin from the sun.
The plastic surgeon may recommend an anesthesia for TCA and Phenol peels as these may cause some amount of discomfort to the patient. Certain peels like the AHA lactic acid peel can also be performed at home. Some manufacturers also sell home chemical peel products that allow chemical peels to be done at home. It is extremely important that the instructions of these products be read very carefully and the strength assessed before they are tried. It is even better to consult a plastic surgeon before any of these home chemical peels are used.