Chemical Peels

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Overview of chemical peels

There is a wide variety of chemical peels with different effectiveness, for example,
Light Peels or exfoliative chemical peels, alphahydroxy acids (AHA) such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the peel formulas which produce light peels.
Medium Peels such as trichloroaetic acid (TCA) and Vi Peel penetrate into deeper layers and stimulate collagen formation, with minimal side-effects, mainly pigmentary changes.
Deep Peels for example phenol penetrates the deepest into the skin with potentially serious side-effects.
Alternatives to chemical peel are laser and microdermabrasion (dermabrasion) and no single skin resurfacing method will be suitable for all clients, therefore, like any other cosmetic treatment patient selection plays an important part. It is known that: 
1. Chemical peels reduce fine surface wrinkles.
2. Chemical peels reduce the superficial blemishes.
3. Chemical peels may correct skin pigmentation problems.
4. Chemical peels reduce acne and acne scarring.
5. Two or more Vi Peel/TCA Peels may be required over several weeks to obtain the desired improvements. Chemical peels can be used in conjunction with other treatment.

  • How do Chemical Peels work?

    Chemical Peels remove the outermost layer of the skin. The new regenerated skin is more uniform in colour, smoother and less wrinkled giving a more youthful look overall, with a reduction in the appearance of unevenness and pitted scars. It is a procedure which can improve the skin's appearance. All areas of the body can be treated with chemical peels. Through the application of a mixture of chemical agents, chemical peels insert their action and exfoliation the skin. You may, therefore, feel a mild stinging sensation which should quickly disappear.
  • How safe are Chemical Peels?

    Chemical peels have been used for hundreds of years and have become refined and scientifically base with a proven safety record, when applied by experienced professionals. Chemical peels can be tailored from ultralight to very aggressive treatment which could be very comparable to aggressive laser skin resurfacing treatment.
    It is also known that cosmetic surgical techniques can only indirectly improve textural changes of aging, particularly in difficult areas such as around mouth (the perioral region). However, chemical peel can improve the texture of the skin and rejuvenate the skin in a way that surgery is unable to do.
  • Who can benefit from chemical peels?

    The indication for chemical peels is a desire to improve the texture of the skin. Therefore, chemical peels are used a wide range of conditions such as:
    Ageing skin
    Fine lines
    Uneven skin, dry and rough skin
    Acne, acne scars, enlarged pores and greasy skin
    Sun damage
    Skin laxicity and skin thickening (keratosis)
    Skin irregularities.
  • How do you divide chemical peels?

    Different concentration of chemical peels can be used on the face and on other parts of the body, depending on the skin thickness and degree of skin abnormalities. The safety profile of the chemical peels allows their successful use for delicate skin areas such as the eyelids and neck. Chemical peels are divided according to their ability to penetrate into the skin layers into:
    Light Peels of exfoliative chemical peels which penetrate only the dead skin cells that sit at the very top layer of the skin (epidermis) and produce almost no injury. Sometimes this level of peel is called “exfoliation”. These kind of chemical peels are present in several cosmetic products. For example, alphahydroxy acids (AHA) such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the peel formulas which produce light peels. They are the lightest, mildest and superficial peels and are the most frequently used. The outer layer of cells are removed, this gently exfoliates the skin which also leads to a healthy grow. AHA peels can be used for the treatment of superficial fine lines, areas of dryness, sun damage, acne and uneven pigmentation.
    Medium Peels which penetrate into deeper layers of the skin and refine the surface, stimulate collagen formation and lighten areas of discolouration. This level of chemical peel may produce a burning sensation during the procedure. Recovery from light-medium peels is also quick.
    Trichloroaetic acid (TCA) is a medium depth peel, it targets surface wrinkles and skin imperfections. TCA infiltrates deeper into the skin and can reduce small wrinkles and acne scars. TCA Chemical Peels can also be used to even out the skin's colour and tone.
    Deep Peels improve the appearance of skin that has been exposed to deeper wrinkles, areas of hyperpigmentation and refine the overall appearance of the skin.
    Phenol is the main ingredient of the deep chemical peels which penetrates deep into the skin thickness. At our cosmetic surgery clinic, Doctors Makeover, we will advise you on which type of peel is best for you, depending on your skin thickness, the overall condition of your skin and your expectation from having chemical peel.
  • What should I expect after my chemical peel?

    Depending on the type of chemical peel, following superficial peels you may have mild redness of your face and occasionally some swelling can occur, but this should usually subside within 48 hours. Following medium peels you may have a more intense redness and possible swelling; this typically subsides within 5-10 days. We do not use deep chemical peels in out clinic because of their serious side-effect. We supply you with written instruction.

    AHA/BHA peels:
    • Temporary redness, light flaking and dryness.
    • Use sun protection SPF 30 or higher.

    TCA peels:
    • Moderate discomfort and mild swelling.
    • Will subside within 7 – 10 days.
    • Use sun protection SPF 30 or higher.
    • Apply moisturiser to nourish new skin.

    Vi Chemical Peel
    • Slight discomfort for a few seconds.
    • Slight discolouration for up to 4 hours.
    • Will subside within 5 – 8 days.
    • Use sun protection SPF 30 or higher.
    • Apply moisturiser to nourish new skin.

  • What are alternatives to chemical peels?

    Laser and microdermabrasion (dermabrasion) are the alternatives to chemical peels. However, dermabrasion is disappearing from the cosmetic clinics but still popular in beauty salons in the UK. Fractional laser and many other laser technologies have had expectations which exceeded results. CO2 laser skin resurfacing needs at least two weeks recovery and fractional laser has about 5 days recovery period but needs to be repeated four to five times to obtain acceptable results. Skin discolouration and pigmentary changes with chemical peels are less in comparison to laser skin resurfacing methods.  However, it is known that no single skin resurfacing will be suitable for all patients and both chemical peels and laser skin re-surfacing are powerful tools.

  • Which Chemical Peel is best for me?

    During your initial consultation, you will be shown pictures and we will explain to you what you should expect during the chemical peel recovery process. We might be able to put you in touch with somebody who already had chemical peel to see the results. We belief patients who are motivated and well-informed will most probably follow the after chemical peel protocol, with better final results. Products with the main ingredients of tretinoin and hydroquinone (usually 4%) are known to reduce post-peel pigmentary changes. The aid is to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and suppressing the pigment producing cells (melanocytes) in the skin.

  • Who is not suitable for chemical peels?

    Chemical peels are not for everyone. Those in poor general health should not perform a chemical peel. Active infections and certain medications (i.e. accutane) may preclude the use of certain types of chemical peels (especially medium and deep chemical peels). They are not given to pregnant and breast feeding mothers.
    Those with abnormal scaring, certain skin diseases, that are pregnant, or have had recent surgeries should not perform a chemical peel. Consultation with a physician is recommended when making the decision whether or not a chemical peel is right for you, and what type/percentage should be used.

  • Is there anything I should do before my chemical peel?

    Although many people take no action before having chemical peel application and mainly concentrate on post-chemical peel phase, proper pre-chemical peel preparation could also contribute to chemical peel success. We may ask you to follow a home care plan for 2-3 weeks before your first peel session to prepare your skin for the treatment. This introduces your skin to the plan and plays an important part in the overall peel procedure because a continuing home care plan is important in the success of your chemical peel.
  • Who is applying a Chemical Peel?

    A trained doctor carries out chemical peel application in our clinic. We use products which have been in use for many years and have stood the test of time. If you are unsure of your tolerance level, we recommend using a low strength peel and increase intensity with time. We occasionally carry out a patch test, applying a small amount of peel solution to a small area of your face for 60 seconds, rinse liberally with cold water, if any reaction occurs. You may experience stinging or have some redness but if any of these symptoms in excess, it may indicate that you need a lower strength peeling acid.
  • How often will I need Chemical Peels?

    At least 2 to 4 sessions will be required. We use superficial and medium peels for the treatment of ageing skin and scars from acne. One to four medium peels may be required for lines, wrinkles or deep scars.

  • What are the possible side-effects of Chemical Peels?

    While having the treatment, you may sense a warm and stinging sensation which if this sensation occur during the vi chemical peel, it should only last about five seconds but with TCA chemical peel up to ten minutes. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, some pinkness may occur. Flaking of the skin after a peel is normal but this usually subsides within the first few days. At our cosmetic surgery clinic, Doctors Makeover, we will advise you on how many peels you require, depending on the condition for which you are being treated.
    The medium dept trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are safer and they are increasingly being used because their results are predictable for any skin type and colour. However, chemical peels are technically sensitive and they are operator dependent and their final results and possible side-effects might be depending on the technique which has been used to employ chemical peels to some extent. TCA and Vi Chemical Peels are safe but they may cause hypo or hyperpigmentation changes which are temporary or response to treat. However, serious side-effects even death has been reported with deep aggressive phenol peels.

  • How much does chemical peel cost?

    Depends on the chemical peel to be used and the number of area(s) on the body to be treated by that particular chemical peel. For example the estimated cost of face and neck chemical peel as follows:
    Alpha Hydroxy Acid Chemical Peels from £50.
    TCA Chemical Peels from £150
    Vi Chemical Peels from £200


  • Chemical Peels, Before and After Pictures

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