Chemical peeling is a treatment modality used to improve skin quality on face, decollete and hands. In consists of the application of different chemical solutions on the skin, which cause a controlled exfoliation of the upper layers. Eventually the skin heals and new, regenerated, smooth and healthy skin is formed.
Active ingredients more commonly used in chemical peels include a- hydroxy acids (AHAs), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, alone or in combination.
Depending on the depth of penetration and the degree of exfoliation caused, there are superficial, medium and deep peels. In our office we usually perform superficial and medium peels.
Superficial peels: treat the outer layers of the skin. They can improve dull skin, mild acne, freckles, mild brown spots. Minimal irritation and almost no exfoliation is produced. It is a very well tolerated treatment that does not require downtime. It can be used as a lunch-time treatment.
Medium depth peels: treat more serious skin conditions such as photoageing, fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, acne scars, melasma. They usually provoke moderate irritation with erythema and swelling of the skin for one day, after which the skin starts to peel off for the next 3-5 days. This treatment may necessitate a few days of downtime.
Chemical peels should be ideally performed in winter, as the skin becomes more sun-sensitive after the treatment and rigorous sun-protection is advised, in order not to develop hyperpigmentation.
Chemical peels may be used as monotherapy. In this instance repeated treatments are needed in order to achieve a clinically significant and stable result. Intervals between peeling sessions may vary from 10 to 40 days.
In our view, the most effective approach is the combination of chemical peels with other skin quality treatments such as microdermabration, mesotherapy or fractional CO2 laser. Combination treatments yield an excellent clinical result in a much shorter period of time.
Peeling is a very cost-effective treatment that can ensure a healthy, fresh and good-looking skin.
Any type of chemical peel, regardless of the indication for which it is used, has also a parallel anti-ageing effect, as it activates the natural rejuvenation process of the skin.