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Chemical peeling

What is the Chemical peeling?

A chemical peeling is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.

Chemical peeling is often used to treat fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth.

Mild scarring and certain types of acne can also be treated with chemical peels. In addition, pigmentation of the skin in the form of sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, splotching due to taking birth control pills, and skin that is dull in texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling.

What is the procedure?

A chemical peel can be performed in a doctor's office or in a surgery center as an out-patient procedure. At the time of treatment, the skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils, and the eyes and hair are protected. One or more chemical solutions - an alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid; trichloroacetic acid (TCA); or carbolic acid (phenol) - are used.
During a chemical peel, the physician applies the solution to small areas on the skin. These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, refreshed skin to appear. Most patients experience a warm to somewhat hot sensation which lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the procedure.

What kind of result can you expect?

Wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors can often be reduced or even eliminated with this procedure. However, sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to peeling and may require other kinds of cosmetic surgical procedures such as a face lift, brow lift, eye lift or soft tissue filler.

Recovery period and recommendations

The new skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun, so it is important to avoid overexposure to the sun after a chemical peel.
Superficial peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling and the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Some peels may require bandages to be placed on part or all of the skin that is treated. Bandages are usually removed in several days and may improve the effectiveness of the treatment.

Possible side effects and complications

The possible complications include prolonged erythema, pigmentary changes, milia (white heads), skin atrophy and textural changes.

 






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