What are Chemical Peels?
Everybody wants healthy glowing skin, but sun exposure, acne, poor hydration, the natural ageing process, and exposure to the elements, all wreak havoc on the skin. Over the years, these factors lead to skin that is dull, dry, unevenly pigmented, tired-looking and has fine lines and wrinkles.
Chemical peels make use of a chemical peel solution that is applied to the face in order to remove one or more of the damaged upper layers of the skin. Chemical peels work to remove these upper layers of dead skin cells to reveal a healthier, fresh, more even, glowing skin from beneath.
These procedures work best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles. While mostly applied to the face, chemical peels can be done on the neck, chest, and other areas as required. There are a variety of chemical peels available, and they differ according to the depth of peel and the active ingredients.
Length of procedure: 10- 20 minutes
Type of anaesthesia: None for light peels, but deeper peels require sedation or anaesthesia.
What to expect post-op: Superficial peels are unlikely to disrupt your normal schedule. Medium and deeper peels will result in some redness, sensitivity and flaking during the recovery period. Avoid sun exposure.
Recovery time: Downtime depends on the depth of the peel. No downtime for lighter peels, but expect some mild flaking in the first few days. Deeper peels require extended downtime, including sun avoidance during recovery.
What does a Chemical Peel involve?
If it is your first visit with your plastic surgeon for a chemical peel, Dr do Vale will usually perform a full skincare consultation. She will discuss and answer any questions you may have regarding chemical peels, all options available to you, and the expected benefits and results so that together you can come to a personalised decision about your complexion.
Initially, all make-up is removed, and the skin is properly cleaned. The chemical peel is essentially a low pH solution that is evenly applied to the skin to initiate a chemical exfoliation. The chemical peel solution is then neutralised. You will be given aftercare instructions depending on the type of chemical peel you have had.
There are a variety of peels available, and they differ according to the depth of peel and the active ingredients.
- Superficial chemical peel: A superficial chemical peel removes the outermost layer of skin. These skin peels can be done as regularly as once a month for continued results. Light chemical peels work well for people with fine lines, dry skin build-ups, mild, uneven pigmentation, or acne. Patients with sensitive skin may experience mild stinging while the solution is on their skin and sometimes light flaking for a few days after. Following a superficial chemical peel, you can resume normal social activities and work, and shouldn’t require any downtime.
- Medium depth chemical peel (TCA peel):
Medium depth peels (TCA peel) are typically used for moderate wrinkles, uneven pigmentation or light scarring. They remove both the upper and middle layers of skin, so patients may experience stinging during the procedure. The downtime is 7-10 days and includes redness. TCA peels give a more visible improvement compared to lighter peels and don’t need to be repeated as often.
A deep peel removes skin down to its deeper layers in order to address deep imperfections like wrinkles, precancerous growths, or sun damage. A local anaesthetic may be necessary to manage discomfort during the procedure, and you may require analgesia afterwards. Dr do Vale sometimes performs a deeper peel in conjunction with a facelift procedure. The recovery period is longer, up to three months, but the dramatic results can last for up to 2-5 years.
Recovery after a Chemical Peel:
You will be given aftercare instructions depending on the type of chemical peel you have had. In the days following a skin peel, the skin may flake or peel away to reveal the fresh new layers underneath. Avoid any sun exposure during your recovery, and thereafter you should include using a good sunscreen as part of your daily skincare regimen to ensure long-lasting results.
For more information on chemical peels request a consultation with Dr do Vale below or call 0109003999.