Understanding Chemical Peels

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As you age, dead skin cells don’t come off as quickly as they did when you were younger, and this makes the skin appear dull. Deep, light, and medium chemical peels, also known as chemexfoliation, are well known non-surgical cosmetic techniques used to peel away the skin’s topmost layer to improve wrinkled, unevenly pigmented, and sun-damaged skin. It gives your skin an even texture and colour, giving you a youthful look and restoring a healthy, radiant and luminous appearance.

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When to Consider Chemical Peels 

You can consider a chemical peel treatment if you have:

• Wrinkled or sun-damaged skin
• Brown spots, blotchiness, and discolorations
• Scars that make your skin surface uneven
• Precancerous skin growths

Candidates for Chemical Peels 

Before considering a chemexfoliation treatment, you need to find out from your doctor if you are a suitable candidate. However, the best candidate for this treatment should have light hair and fair skin. But, patients with other hair colours and skin pigmentation can have good results as well. You are an excellent recipient if you are unhappy with the appearance of your skin, don’t smoke, and have reasonable expectations for the procedure. If you are in good health, understand the process, and have realistic expectations towards the outcomes, you can undergo a chemexfoliation treatment.

You can be happy with the results of the treatment if your aim is to smooth wrinkles, alleviate acne, reduce the effects of sun damage, eliminate age spots, or improve the texture of your skin.

There are different kinds of chemexfoliation treatments with varying strengths, and they offer different treatment levels. To find out which one is right for you, ask your doctor.

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Preparation for Chemexfoliation 

The kind of readiness needed for a chemexfoliation treatment will depend on the type of chemical peel you are to receive. But generally, your doctor will recommend Retin-A, a Vitamin A derivative used to pre-treat the skin. It makes the surface of your skin regular, allowing phenol or TCA (trichloroacetic acid) solution to penetrate deeper and more evenly. If your skin doesn’t tolerate Retin-A, you may use an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) cream instead.

Sometimes, hydroquinone (a bleaching agent) is used in combination with an AHA or Retin-A pre-treatment, especially if you have pigmentation problems or blotching skin. This treatment may last a month or more before the doctor schedules the actual treatment.

If you are receiving a deeper TCA or phenol peel, plan for someone to drive you home and help you for a couple of days after the treatment.

Chemexfoliation Procedure 

A typical chemexfoliation treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, and your doctor will administer local anesthesia. A TCA and full face AHA often lasts about 30 minutes. A full-face phenol peel lasts between one and two hours. But, phenol peels of smaller portions of the face such as the upper lip last about 15 minutes.

Your doctor thoroughly cleanses your face to remove excess oils and covers your hair and eyes to protect them. One or several chemical solutions such as the carbolic acid (phenol), lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid are used for the chemexfoliation treatment, and this will depend on the particular needs of your skin.

During the treatment, the doctor applies the chemical solutions to specific areas on your skin. These applications cause a controlled wound, allowing new, regenerated skin to replace the peeling skin. During the treatment, you may notice a warm or hot sensation that may last up to 10 minutes, and this may be followed by a stinging sensation. You can eliminate this feeling by applying a cold compress. When undergoing a deeper peel treatment, you may have to take pain medication during or after the treatment.

Chemexfoliation is a painless way to improve the texture of your skin and give you a younger look and smooth skin. This treatment has minimal risks. To find out if you are a suitable recipient, consult with your doctor.