A chemical peel refers to the application of one or more chemicals to the skin, which targets and removes damaged cells. A peel removes several layers of sun-damaged skin cells, leaving fresh skin with a more even surface and colour. It may also stimulate new collagen to be formed, which leads to improved skin texture.
The most common peels utilised today are those that are superficial or medium depth peels. To accomplish this task, the chosen peel solution induces a controlled injury to the skin. The resulting wound healing processes begins to regenerate new tissue and the dead skin eventually peels off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Common indications for chemical peels
- Photoageing including actinic keratoses
- Pigmentation such as freckles, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve active acne and acne scars
- The face is thoroughly cleaned to remove surface oil
- Peeling agent is applied and left on the skin for several minutes
- Patient experiences mild stinging on the skin depending on chemical used
- Peel is neutralised to reduce burning sensation and to remove the chemical solution
Superficial peels typically result in mild facial redness and occasional swelling that resolves within 48 hours. Peeling is similar to a sunburn, and most people can resume normal activities immediately. Make-up can be applied a few hours after the procedure. It is important to note that moderate depth peels result in intense inflammation and swelling that resolves within a week, as the peeling is more marked and mild redness can persist for weeks.