Typically administered as a facial peel, a chemical peel enhances and smoothes the texture of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation.
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A chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is removes the damaged outer layers of the skin. In performing chemical peels, physicians apply alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol to the skin.
The chemical peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world. The procedure was performed in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The aim was to achieve smoother, more beautiful skin. Today, chemical facial peels are popular due to the fact that they offer nearly immediate results and performed as an outpatient procedure.
In general, patients with fair skin and light hair are the best chemical peel candidates. However, patients with other skin pigmentation and hair color can achieve good results as well. Ideal candidates for the chemical peel procedure are individuals who are unhappy with the appearance of their skin, have realistic expectations of their procedure, and do not smoke.
An ideal candidate for a chemical peel is in good physical health, understands the procedure, and has realistic expectations of the outcome. You are likely to be pleased with the results of a chemical peel. Especially if your goal is to alleviate acne, smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture, eliminate age spots or reduce the effects of sun damage. The different types of chemical peels come in varying strengths and, as a result, provide different levels of treatment.
Deep chemical peels involve a longer procedure and longer recovery time that lasts up to several months in some cases. Patients who want to correct blotches caused by sun exposure or age, minimize coarse wrinkles, or remove a pre-cancerous growth, consequently, may benefit from a deep peel. Certain factors should be taken into consideration when contemplating deep chemical peels. Darker-skinned patients and individuals with heart problems are not ideal candidates.
Potential chemical peel candidates should be aware that the treatment may take an hour or more, and may require sedation. Anyone who decides on this procedure should prepare for a long, slow recovery period, and should wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sun.
The light chemical peels treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation, and acne. Light chemical peels are ideal for people who want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to spend the time required to recover from a deeper peel.
The medium facial peels works well for treating fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems. Similar to the light chemical peel, medium chemical peels require less downtime than a deeper peel. TCA peels are therefore the preferred choice for patients with darker skin.
The deep chemical peels are the strongest of the facial peels. Deep peels treat coarse facial wrinkles, blotches caused by aging or sun exposure, and pre-cancerous growths. While a deep chemical peel produces the most dramatic, longest-lasting results, the procedure takes longer than other peels (one to two hours) and consequently requires the most healing time.
Certain chemical peel solutions are useful for treating acne blemishes and diminishing existing acne scars. Light chemical peels administered with a solution of alphahydroxy acids (AHA) can be beneficial for treating acne. You can mix a lower-strength AHA solution with a facial wash as part of your daily skin-care routine.