Skin peeling(exfoliation) is the process by which dead cells are removed from the surface of the skin. In the chemical method, with the help of chemical peels, we loosen the attachment of dead cells to the skin to separate them from the surface of the skin.
Our skin naturally sheds dead cells every 30 days to make room for new cells to grow and divide. Sometimes dead cells do not shed completely. If dead cells accumulate on the skin, the result is dryness, scaling, and clogging of the skin pores. Exfoliating your skin helps prevent this from happening.
Benefits of chemical peels
- Reducing fine lines under the eyes and laugh line
- Possibility to treat wrinkles caused by sunlight or aging
- Healing old scars and wounds caused by acne and surgical sutures
- Possibility of treating subcutaneous and inflamed pimples
- Chemical peels can remove blemishes, freckles, and skin discoloration (melasma) due to pregnancy and overexposure to direct sunlight.
Types of chemical peels
In general, chemical peels are divided into the following types:
- Deep chemical peels
- Medium chemical peeling
- Light chemical peeling
It is up to the specialist plastic surgeon to choose any of the above methods and decide which one is more suitable for you.
Types of chemical peels
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
These acids help remove the top layer of dead skin cells so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may take the place of old ones. Compared to other skin exfoliating acids, AHAs function more superficially.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)
These fat-soluble acids can penetrate deep into hair follicles to take out excess oils and dead skin cells from your skin pores. Beta-hydroxy acids are mostly used to treat acne and damage caused by harmful sun rays. The most famous BHA is salicylic acid, which is mainly used to treat acne but is also useful to improve redness and general inflammation of the skin.
Retinoic acid is a type of retinoid that is a derivative of vitamin A. These exfoliators are commonly used in clinics. Retinoic acid exfoliates more deeply than BHA and is effective in removing scars or blemishes and skin lines.
Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA)
These acids can be used in many concentrations, but are most commonly used for medium-depth exfoliation to treat thin superficial wrinkles and slight pigment changes. The results of TCA peels are usually less significant and are not as durable as phenol peels and more than one TCA peels may be required to achieve the desired result. The recovery from a TCA peel is usually shorter than with a phenol peel.
Phenol or deep peeling is the strongest chemical solution and causes a medium or deep peeling. This solution is intentionally used to treat deep wrinkles, blemishes, or skin lesions caused by sun exposure or pre-cancerous skin growths. Because phenol sometimes brightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may be a determining factor in whether or not this treatment is right for you. Phenol is mostly applied to the face and can cause scars if applied to the neck or other areas of the body.
What results can be expected from peeling?
Your peeling results depend on the peeling treatment used:
- AHA (superficial) peels improve the skin, which may seem very minor at first. At first, you will notice that your skin looks healthier and with the repeated treatment, you will notice an overall improvement in the consistency of your skin.
- TCA (medium) peels on the skin result in a much smoother, fresher appearance. However, the results of a TCA peel are usually not as durable as phenol peels.
- Phenol peels (medium or deep) lead to significant improvements in the surface of your skin, lighter wrinkles, less pigmentation, and much firmer skin. Your results are durable but not resistant to the effects of aging and sun exposure.
Lifelong protection of the skin against sunlight is the key to maintaining your results.