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Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels

One of the oldest cosmetic procedures, Chemical Peel has been used from the times of Cleopatra who famously used lactic acid to maintain an ageless skin. The name CHEMICAL PEEL is a misnomer as neither chemicals are used nor it peels the skin but it causes a controlled inflammation to regenerate the skin.

Although a lot of innovation has taken place in lasers and technologies still chemical peels are irreplaceable in certain skin conditions. They are known to be safer than most of the procedures and best complement the laser and other light based procedures. Depending on which combination of acid your dermatologist recommends, it benefits the skin, scalp, body and face. 

The procedure helps in treating: 

  • Wrinkles

  • skin discoloration

  • Acne

  • Age spots

  • Rough-feeling skin

  • Fine lines (especially the ones’ under our eyes and around the mouth)

  • Freckles

  • Dull complexion

  • Melasma

  • Sun-damaged skin and 

  • Scars 

They are cost effective and efficacious in skilled hands. The objective is to exfoliate the specific layers of skin leading to spontaneous elimination of dead skin and subsequent regeneration of new skin. They can even be used for therapeutic purposes. The depth of lesion defines the type of chemical peel and the results expected. 

How does it work?

  1. First, your skin doctor will clean your skin thoroughly so as to clear any elements be it dirt, makeup or oil which might create a barrier between acid and skin.

  2. A chemical gel/fluid is applied on the skin’s surface which dissolves the outer dead layer of the skin, letting the new skin take its place and build its collagen

  3. Post this, the skin is again cleansed or neutralised.

How to choose the right peel for your skin?

It is very important you consult an expert for a chemical peel. A dermatologist suggests which chemical peel is right for you based on your skin type.

Does it include any downtime?

Depending on the chemical peel use - some do not require much down time and you can go home post the treatment. While the others involve a recovery time of two to three weeks. 

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

Precautions after the procedure

In case of any discomfort post skin peel, you can use ice packs at home. We suggest staying out of the sun for the following days and avoiding makeup (or as directed by the dermatologist) based on the peel and duration. We also recommend to not go for another treatment during the same time or scratch your face after this procedure. 

When can you see the results of Chemical peel?

Depending on the peel used by your dermatologist, some show instant results while some give it over a period of time post a number of sittings.

We at Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions Clinic use world class peeling agents and follow international standards and protocols which are suitable for all skin types.

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In this procedure, an agent is applied to the skin which causes exfoliation of the skin and gives a regenerated surface that looks younger and better.

The chemical peel can be used for pre-party glow, superficial lines and wrinkles, active pimples and scarring to even tough to treat conditions like stretch marks. Depending on the type, most of the common skin concerns can be addressed with chemical peels.

The peels are classified by their depth of penetration. They are of the following types:

  1. Very superficial chemical peels 
    • Salicylic acid 20–30%
    • Glycolic acid 50%
    • Jessner’s solution, 1-3 coats
    • Modifiefd Jessner’s solution
    • Mandelic acid 30-40%
    • Triochloroacetic acid 10-20%, 1 coat
  2. Superficial  - Destruction of part or all of the epidermis
    • Glycolic acid 50-70% until redness
    • TCA 20-35%
    • Salicylic acid 30% + TCA 20%
  3. Medium depth chemical peel – involves epidermis and part of dermis
    • Glycolic acid 70% + TCA 35%
    • Jessner’s solution + TCA 35%
  4. Deep Chemical Peels – reaches upto the reticular dermis
    • Baker Gordon’s formula (2.1% croton in 50% phenol)

The skin should be ideally prepared before the procedure to avoid any complication. Also the priming agent enhances the penetration and the effectiveness of the peeling agent. The pigmentary cells are subdued and this prevents any pigmentation. Various agents like hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, and vitamin C can be used for priming the skin before procedure.

Redness and slight itching sensation is common with superficial peels. A little outbreak of pimples can be commonly seen in the first few days after the peel. Swelling, crusting are common with medium to deep peels only.

They should not be attempted at home and should be done by a qualified Dermatologist only.

Chemical peels are safest to use if the choice of patient and the peel match with each other. A darker skin type like most of our Indian skin tones would be more suited for superficial to very superficial chemical peels while a Caucasian skin would require medium to deep peels for better results. An experienced clinician can examine and decide the safest peel and is the best person to perform a chemical peel procedure.

The peels are of various types-

  • Uperficial peels that go up to stratum corneum e.g. Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid 30- 50%, and Jessner's solution
  • Superficial light peels- They reach up to basal layer e.g. GA 50 to 70%
  • Medium depth peels- They reach up to dermis e.g. TCA 35- 50%, GA 70%, 88% Phenol
  • Deep peels like Baker Gordon phenol peel
  • Lipohydroxy acid (LHA) A new group of agents which are used to exfoliate and remove dead skin giving skin a smooth, shiny surface.

Most of these agents are naturally derived and purified to get the best ingredient. Generally, most of these peels, especially superficial and very superficial give gentle exfoliation and peeling. It is one of the biggest myths that these chemicals are harmful.

  • Priming of the skin is a must. Dr. Divya Sharma believes in a proper pre-peel regimen to avoid complications related to peeling.
  • The skin should not be tanned prior to treatment.
  • The patient should not have a keloidal tendency.
  • Any drugs causing increased photosensitivity, aspirin or blood thinners should be stopped one week before the procedure.

Patients with a history of keloid, herpes labialis, SLE, photosensitivity, and suntanned skin should avoid doing chemical peels. Any pre-existing infection should be treated prior to a chemical peel procedure.

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