With age comes tons of skin concerns, especially that of the face. Wrinkles, pigments, spots, freckles, scars, and more. As the skin ages, skincare becomes a tougher game. Our skin naturally produces elastin and collagen to repair and keep the skin smooth. As we age, the amount of collagen and elastin produced decreases considerably leaving the skin with blemishes and scars. Home remedies, on-the-counter medications, routine creams and skincare products, do not often give the result that one desires. Cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels offer a remarkable and long-lasting result.
Now let us address the first question – What is a chemical peel? A chemical peel is a cosmetic facial procedure that uses chemical solutions such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid and others for removing pigments and scars. These chemical solutions are applied to gently peel off the top layer of the facial skin. A fresh layer of skin is obtained after a chemical peel and the solutions penetrate into the skin making it an effective solution to make the skin smooth.
Three types of chemical peel treatments
- Light / Superficial Chemical Peel – A light chemical skin peel will use a mild acid that is applied on the skin. The outer skin exfoliates and peels off the layer of the epidermis. A fresh new layer of the skin that is smooth and even in skin tone can be obtained. This treatment is used to treat minor discolouration, acne, wrinkles and dryness. The patient might have to repeat the procedure in every 4 to 5 weeks to keep the results as it is.
- Medium Chemical Peel – This type of facial chemical peel uses solutions such as glycolic acid. The solution will treat the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the top layer of the dermis. Stubborn wrinkles, acne scars, blemishes and pigmentation can be treated with this facial peel.
- Deep Chemical Peel – This chemical peel for face is ideally the best option for individuals who are struggling with deep facial scars and hard pigments. Chemical solutions such as trichloroacetic acid is used and it penetrates deep into the layers of the dermis. Most facial concerns can be addressed with a deep chemical peel including age spots, freckles, extremely dry skin and scars. A repeat session is usually not required for a long time post this facial peel.
All the above are efficient as chemical peel for face, neck and hands. The results of a chemical peel are dependent on the type of peel chosen. If you are looking at receiving stunning results to the otherwise tough scars and spots, deep peel would work well. Chemical peels are a safe cosmetic procedure and must be done only by a board certified surgeon for best results. It may not be possible for the patient to pick the one best chemical peel by themselves but a doctor would be able to help in making the right choice.
Chemical Peel Benefits
- Tough facial pigments and patches that are a result of side-effects of various medications such as birth control pills or chemotherapy can be reduced drastically
- Fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and acne scars can be reduced or removed completely
- Provides a younger appearance for the patient
- Sun-damaged and extremely dry and flaky skin can be reversed with the treatment
Chemical peel before and after
Patients have received chemical peels for acne scars and obtained remarkable results. Below is an example
Most freckles, lines and wrinkles on the face would disappear making the person look younger, like in the below.
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The treatment and recovery duration
Consultation with a cosmetologist is extremely important to diagnose the skin and finalize on the treatment plan. Patients must be required not to wax or scrub the face at least 2 days prior to treatment. A medium chemical peel would be performed by administering a sedative and for a deep peel, local anesthesia would be needed. All chemical peel procedures would be an in-office procedure taking about 30 to 90 minutes. Post the treatment, the patient is required to follow appropriate medications and use an SPF cream and limit exposure to sum for 7 days. Chemical peel recovery time is usually between 7 to 14 days depending on the treatment done.
Cost of chemical peel in India
Most chemical peels in India would cost between INR 1500 to 9000, depending on the type of treatment. A light facial treatment would cost between INR 1 to 5k, medium peel would be between INR 3 to 7k and deep would cost INR 5 to 9k. Chemical face peel costs between INR 1.5 to 4k in most cosmetic clinics in Chennai.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is chemical peel good for skin?
Chemical peels help in exfoliating and rejuvenating the skin. It is a safe procedure and helps with reduction of acne, scars, pigments and wrinkles. It is good to get back youthful and glowing skin in individuals who have age related facial concerns.
- What is a chemical peel and what does it do?
As the name suggests, chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure of using chemical solutions to address skin concerns such as blemishes, wrinkles, freckles, acne, pigments, spots and scars. Light, medium and deep facial peels are done depending on the severity of facial skin damage.
How long does a chemical peel burn take to heal?
Chemical peels would take anywhere between 7 to 14 days for complete recovery. Though the patients can resume activities in a day or two after the procedure, appropriate post-procedural care is necessary. It is very important to stay away from harsh sunlight for at least a week to prevent any reactions and help with healing process.
- How long does chemical peel last?
The duration of the results of a chemical peel depend on the extent of chemical solution used or the type of chemical peel. Light or superficial peels last for about one to two months while a deep chemical peel could give results that last a lifetime. A medium chemical peel could last between 6 months to a year.
- Is chemical peel safe?
Chemical peel is a common cosmetic procedure that is considered highly safe for the patients. Like in all cosmetic procedures, there is a risk of infection or scars in this treatment as well. Only a board certified surgeon should perform a chemical peel. This will ensure that the doctor is well trained and the chance of a complication will be extremely minimal.
- Can you see results after 1 peel?
The number of treatments or sessions needed would be decided by the doctor based on the patient’s needs. The results of the treatment can be seen after one session but for effective and lasting results, multiple sessions might be needed.
- Can I shower after chemical peel?
The skin would be sober and sensitive immediately after the procedure. Hence it is very important to avoid showers or washing of the face for at least 24 hours. The doctor might advise cleansing the face with a suitable and mild product for a few days.
- How long does it take for a chemical peel to start peeling?
The skin will peel off post the treatment in 48 to 72 hours. The peeling would go on for 2 to 5 days. Patients can use moisturizers as prescribed by the doctor on the peeling. If the skin starts to peel off too soon, appropriate results might not be obtained. Premature peeling of the skin can also cause pigmentations and dry skin.
- What can you not do after a chemical peel?
It is important to not immediately wash the face and avoid any scratching or rubbing of the skin. Patients must aslo avoid direct sunlight and sun exposure to prevent infections.
- How do you sleep after a chemical peel?
It is very important to ensure that you do not place your face on the pillow while sleeping. For this, it is important to sleep on your back and in an elevated position. Patients must sleep like this for 2 weeks to ensure complete recovery and healing.
- Does a chemical peel work if you don’t peel?
It is not necessary that the patient should experience extensive peeling of the skin after the treatment. For light or medium peels, the peeling would be minimal. For deeper peels, there can be much more peeling of the skin. In some cases, there will be no visible peeling. Even in such cases the chemical peel would still do it job and the expected results could be seen.
- Will a chemical peel remove dark spots?
Yes, chemical peels do remove dark spots. Chemical solutions such as lactic acid can especially work on removing dark spots. Exfoliation of the skin and reducing wrinkles and acne scars are often achieved along with reduction of pigments.
- How often should I get a chemical peel?
The repeat sessions required for chemical peels depend on the type of peel chosen. For a light or superficial peel, the patient might have to repeat the session every five weeks. For a medium peel, a repeat session can be done between three to nine months. The deep peel is a permanent treatment and can last for more than a decade or even a lifetime.
- What happens if you wear makeup after a chemical peel?
Makeup must be strictly avoided for 2 to 4 days post a chemical peel session. It is best to start applying makeup post 7 days or after complete recovery. If makeup is used too early or just after the treatment, there is a very high chance of infection. The skin will be very sensitive after a chemical facial peel and patients must take required care. Gentle usage of a cleanser and a lotion of SPF 30 and above can help with better healing.
- What can I expect after my first chemical peel?
Right after a chemical peel session, your skin will have redness, swelling and a burning sensation. These are a common after effects of the treatment. These symptoms would subside on its own and is not to be worried about. Your doctor might advise the usage of ice compress or medications to help relieve the symptoms. Patients must also be prepared to stay away from makeup and direct sunlight to help faster recovery.