The importance of skin without blemishes cannot be overemphasized. Having perfect skin is the dream of most people and many go to great lengths to make this a reality. Sadly, most people undergo procedures they know next to nothing about and are left with nothing but regrets and badly impacted skin. Not all skin conditions require surgery. There are many times when all patients need to do to completely rejuvenate their skin is use chemical peels. Chemical peels improve and the texture of the skin and make it smooth. The procedure involves applying the appropriate chemical solution to the area of the skin being treated. The chemical peel creates a controlled injury to the skin's surface which results in the removal of the outermost layer of the skin. The healing of the controlled injury brings about the regeneration of new skin tissues which are smoother in texture than the old skin.
Types of Chemical Peels
There are three basic types of chemical peels and they are superficial or lunchtime peels, medium peels and deep peels.
Superficial or Lunchtime Peel – Lunchtime peels are a very common type of chemical peel. They are the mildest of all chemical peels as they penetrate only the outer layer of the skin to mildly exfoliate the dead skin. Superficial peels are used mainly on facial skin although they are also used to treat the neck, chest and hands. Lunchtime peels include alpha hydroxy acid peels and glycolic peels and they are used to treat mild discolorations, uneven pigmentation, mild cases of wrinkling and acne.
Medium Peel – Chemical peels that fall under this category are deeper-action peels. When applied to the skin's surface, they penetrate the outermost layer and the middle layer of the skin to exfoliate dead skin. Medium peels are used to treat conditions that require a deeper impact. The skin conditions they treat include age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration and pre-cancerous skin tissues. Medium peels include beta hydroxyl acid peels.
Deep Peel – These are the deepest acting chemical peels and they are used to deeply penetrate the skin beyond the middle layer. Deep chemical peels are used to treat deep lines, age spots, deep acne scars and acne. Deep peels are the strongest of all chemical peels. After the procedure, fast changes in skin texture and appearance can be expected. Deep peels can only be performed once due to the deep action they exert on the skin. Deep chemical peels include retinoic acid peel, trichloroacetic acid peel, phenol-croton oil peel etc.
Chemical peels are a perfect solution for those who would like to remove sunspots, scars caused by acne and other unsightly blemishes. Facial rejuvenation procedures like chemical peels are almost always outpatient procedures performed in a doctor’s office rather than a hospital. Having an outpatient procedure reduces costs since patients do not have to pay an operating room fee. It also means that, after the peel, the patient is able to relax and recover in the comfort of his or her own home.
Chemical Peel Risks and Recovery
Chemical peels can cause a light burning and stinging sensation that varies depending on the intensity of the chemical peel and the sensitivity of the patient’s skin. After the chemical peel procedure, mild peeling of the skin can also be expected. The peeling is mostly accompanied by redness of the skin. All of these risks subside drastically within three to seven days depending on the intensity of the peel and the sensitivity of the skin. It should also be noted that medium and deep peels may cause slight swelling, blisters and redness of the skin.
Since there are different variations of chemical peels procedures, it's completely natural that the recovery lengths will vary. The amount of recovery time will also depend on the intensity of the peel. To achieve and maintain maximum results, it is important that patients avoid excessive exposure to the sun for several months after the chemical peel since the new skin will be fragile. Patients that decide to have a superficial peel can recover in as little as a few days. However, patients who opt for a medium to deep peel will need several weeks to recover. A few days after the procedure, patients may need bandages on the skin area treated and changed.
Chemical Peels can be Customized
Doctors have the ability to customize the chemical peel procedure to meet the specific needs of the patient. This procedure is perfect for almost any person who is unhappy with his or her skin and would like a smoother, more even complexion. In general, the most suitable candidates for a chemical peel procedure are fair-skinned and light-haired patients. Patients with a history of scars, cold sores, bleeding disorders or any other medical condition that can adversely impact the results of the procedure are not considered to be suitable candidates. Patients that feel this procedure is right for them should visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon that specializes in skin rejuvenation in order to find the best option for their skin.