What are chemical peels?

Chemical peels have become a very useful tool against wrinkles, surface scarring, and skin discoloration on the patient’s face. In recent years, Dr. Dorner has reported a significant rise in the number of patients wanting to get chemical peels to resolve blemishes and other skin issues. This technique promotes skin resurfacing by the use of a chemical solution applied directly onto the skin to facilitate the peeling of the outermost layers to uncover the younger, smoother skin underneath.

What should I consider when getting chemical peels?

Although chemical peels are a very effective way of treating different kinds of skin problems, patients must be mindful of the kind of chemical peel that is used on their skin. Usually the type of chemical peel used is chosen based on the type of skin issues that each patient has.

  • A light chemical peel is a superficial peeling process that only removes the outermost layer of the epidermis, or the surface skin layer. This is a good option for treating acne, mild wrinkles, dry skin, and uneven skin tone. Light chemical peels can be done once a week for a period of about six weeks, or until the desired result is achieved.
  • A medium chemical peel is able to remove the skin cells from the epidermis as well as from the upper portions of the dermis, or the middle skin layer. This technique is advisable for treating acne scars, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Medium chemical peels cannot be done as regularly as a light chemical peel, and is recommended to be applied only once every 6 to 12 months.
  • Deep chemical peels are the strongest, most invasive, chemical peel in the market, and it involves the use of stronger chemicals to promote peeling from the outermost layer of the epidermis up to the deeper layers of the dermis. For this, patients are usually put under general anesthesia to make sure that discomfort is at a minimum during the procedure. A deep chemical peel is indicated for treating deep-seated wrinkles, pronounced scarring, or for removing potential precancerous growths.

What to expect during chemical peels?

  • A light chemical peel calls for the direct application of a glycolic acid or salicylic acid solution on the indicated areas. Patients will usually feel a mild stinging sensation that will last for up to 10 minutes as the chemical solution induces peeling. A naturalizing solution will be applied after this.
  • For a medium chemical peel, a trichloroacetic or glycolic acid solution Oral-B applied on the indicated areas. A cool compress will be used on the treated skin a few minutes after that to soothe the stinging sensation that can last for up to 20 minutes.
  • The patient will be put under general anesthesia for a deep chemical peel, as carbolic acid is applied onto the indicated areas in 10 to 20 minute intervals. Skin usually turns white or gray during the procedure prior to the peeling.