A chemical peel is a procedure that treats sun damage, scars, precancerous lesions, sun damaged skin, age spots, lines, and facial creases. The benefits are boundless. It works by eliminating the outer skin layer, which has been damaged by age, the sun, acne, and other factors. By removing this top layer of skin, the body can create a new and fresh layer of skin.
How it works
Before you pursue getting a chemical peel, any acne, infection, or active skin disease must be under control. A chemical peel is placed on the skin to soak in. Over the next day to two weeks, the chemical is allowed to permeate the skin and eliminate the old layer. It is a controlled process of exfoliation that will cause the old layer of skin to peel away. There are three specific types of chemical peels.
- Superficial peels can be used on any skin type because they are the mildest. They work by using a diluted acid or solid carbon dioxide. This type is specifically used to diminish skin discoloration, treat sun damage, acne scars, or fine wrinkles. A superficial chemical peel may also be used to prep the skin for an even deeper peel.
- Medium peels are allowed to soak deeper into the skin and can create a slight burning sensation. Trichloroacetic acid is the peeling agent of this type. Medium peels can address moderate wrinkles, sun damage, and pigment changes.
- Deep peels will soak into many layers of the skin. Like medium peels, they also cause a burn. A solution called phenol is the go-to agent for this type of peel. Deep peels are not recommended for darker skin types because they might bleach the skin. Unlike a superficial or medium peel, a deep peel can be done only one time. This type of peel is used to treat long-term sun damage, significant pigmentation changes, and severe wrinkles.