A chemical peel is essentially the application of acid to your skin, often the face, to remove the upper skin layers. What the acid does is cause a mild, superficial burn. Then the burn blisters and peels, causing skin appearance improvement because of newly regenerated skin.
Skin peels are a type of skin resurfacing technique used in an effort to smooth out a minor scar, acne scars, pigment discolorations, blemishes, blackheads or wrinkles. Although, chemical peels are not advised for keloids and deep scars.
How deeply your skin is burned depends largely on the strength of the acid used. Chemical peels can either be administered to penetrate superficial, medium or deep. Generally, superficial skin peeling targets fine lines, sun damage, acne and rosacea. The medium type chemical peel is for minor wrinkling, sun damage and actinic keratosis. Deep peels are used for the more serious wrinkling, scar and sun damage.
One advantage of using chemical peels is evening out uneven skin pigmentation in the form of sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles and contraceptive caused splotching. And skin peeling may also brighten up dull looking skin.
Chemical peels performed by professionals outside your home are usually composed of alphahydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid and phenol chemical solutions. The precise formula varies to meet your cosmetic problems, anywhere from acne to scar to hyperpigmentation.
Trichloroacetic acid is often used for medium skin peeling. This level of chemical peel treats mild surface wrinkles, blemishes and pigment issues. Although its results are less drastic than a phenol skin peel, recovery time is shorter.
Phenol is the strongest of the chemical peels and this acid burns deep. It’s used for the rougher acne, scar or other skin damage issues. Potential side effects of this penetrating skin peeling are the loss of your skin’s ability to produce pigment, infection and scarring.
The skin effects resulting from a chemical peel is similar to that of a sunburn. Superficial peeling involves redness, followed by scaling. Medium and deep peeling may cause swelling and water blisters, then crusting which may take a couple of weeks to peels off. And afterwards, sun exposure must be avoided for several months.
Skin peeling side effects may involve uneven pigment changes, a serious skin infection and scarring. And if you tend to scar easily, then chemical peels may not be the skin healthy way to rid your acne, scar or other undesirable skin imperfections.
There are at home chemical peel kits available, just not as strong. Typically peeling only superficially, a home chemical peel helps with freshening your skin, eliminating blackheads, improving acne symptoms and smoothing minor scar skin texture.
Because home chemical peel kits do contain acid, it’s important that you meticulously follow their instructions. Also, beware that acids can cause inflammation, discoloration or chemical burns. So, use with special care and stick with the home chemical peels that have been thoroughly tested.