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Chemical Peel: Benefits, Procedure and Side Effects

One of the typical cosmetic issues that practically everyone has is sun exposure. Our skin is impacted by the sun’s intense heat in several ways. Our skin seems dull and tanned when exposed to direct sunlight. Who wouldn’t want to look good? All of us make an effort to follow the latest fashions in appearance. However, people frequently seek cosmetic procedures like chemical peels in the pursuit of beauty.

What is a chemical peel?

In order to remove the outer layers, a chemical peel is used as a cosmetic procedure on the face, hands, and neck. They help enhance the skin’s aesthetic appearance.


People typically choose this cosmetic treatment to address the following issues:

Fine lines and wrinkles Sun damage

Acne scarring


Uneven skin tone

What common peeling agents are there?

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and retinol are some chemicals used frequently in peeling products. Glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric, and mandelic acids are examples of alpha hydroxy acids. Salicylic acid is the sole example of a beta hydroxy acid.

Type of chemical peels

Superficial peels, which gently exfoliate using mild acids like alpha-hydroxy acid. Only the topmost layer of skin is penetrated.

Medium peels, which penetrate the middle and outer layers of skin using trichloroacetic or glycolic acid. This increases its ability to remove damaged skin cells.

Deep peels, which completely remove damaged skin cells from the middle layer of the skin; these peels frequently include phenol or tricholoracetic acid.

How are chemical peels done? Superficial peel

A cotton ball, piece of gauze, or brush will be used to administer a chemical solution, such as salicylic acid, to the region being treated during a superficial peel. The skin will start to become whiter and can even start to sting. The chemical solution will either be eliminated or a neutralizing solution will be introduced.

Medium peel

During a medium chemical peel, your doctor will apply the chemical solution to your face using a cotton-tipped applicator, a unique sponge, or gauze. These can include trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid. The trichloroacetic acid may sometimes be tinted blue. Your doctor will apply a cool compress to the skin when it begins to lighten. You may experience stinging or burning for up to 20 minutes.

Deep peel

The physician will apply phenol to your skin using a cotton-tipped applicator. Your skin will turn grey or white as a result. To reduce the amount of acid that contacts the skin, the procedure will be performed in 15-minute portions.

The effectiveness and safety of chemical peels on Asian patients have been examined in a number of trials. The majority of investigations concentrated on Jessner’s solution(JS) and salicylic acid(SA) peel (20–30%). Asians who had acne responded well to both JS and a 30% SA peel alone, according to Dayal et al. Throughout the course of a 12-week period, the peels were applied once every two weeks for a total of six sessions. Statistically, SA peel outperformed JS peel for comedonal noninflammatory acne.

It has also been demonstrated that different Glycolic Acid(GA) Peel concentrations (35%, 40%, and 50%) are safe and effective in Asians. 40 Asian patients with moderate to severe acne were examined by Wang et al with 35% and 50% GA peels. The peel was used for 10 weeks at 3-week intervals, and the amount of comedones, papules, and pustules was significantly reduced.

Benefits of Superficial Chemical Peels for the Skin

Decreases blemishes

Focuses on skin tone problems Removes dead skin cells Prevents acne

Peels with salicylic acid in particular help in regulating sebum production to prevent acne. Recommendations: All skin types

Side Effects of Superficial Chemical Peels on the Skin

During treatment: Very low heat to slight stinging and discomfort are all possible sensations.

After therapy: Slight peeling, a tiny amount of sensitivity, and brief redness that will go away within a few hours to a few days.

Healing time: a maximum of a week or a few days

If your skin is delicate, the adverse effects are more noticeable.

Benefits from Medium Peels

Brightens and lightens, the sun damages discoloration and helps with hyperpigmentation problems like melasma.

Wrinkles and fine lines are diminished

Individuals with more particular skin conditions might consider this.

Side Effects of Medium Peels

Possible infection: Higher than superficial peels, but generally tolerable

During treatment: Stinging, burning, and discomfort, depending on your pain threshold and skin sensitivity.

After therapy: swelling, crusting, stinging, peeling, and redness in the treated areas Time needed for recovery: a few days to two weeks

If your skin is delicate, when side effects become more irritating, it’s vital to see a dermatologist.

Benefits of Deep Peels

Cures severe acne scarring

Treats more advanced skin ageing conditions that lead to marionette lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles.

Reduces severe UV damage-related discoloration

Side Effects of Deep Peels

Because of the high risk of infection, it is normally recommended that you take antibiotics and antiviral drugs after treatment.

During treatment: extremely strong stinging and burning feelings

After therapy: Peeling, intense swelling, redness, throbbing pain, or chronic pain in the treated area

New skin will surface in two weeks, but full recovery could take up to six months because it is still sensitive to solar damage.

For individuals with sensitive skin, it is not recommended.

The effectiveness of a-hydroxy acid and b-hydroxy acid peels in the treatment of mild to moderately severe face acne vulgaris was compared in a single-center, double-blind, prospective, randomised research. This research was approved by the institutional review board of Saint Louis University. Peels containing salicylic and glycolic acids both had comparable results. Peels containing salicylic acid were more persistently effective and had fewer negative effects. Both a- and b- hydroxy acid peels are effective adjunctive treatments for acne vulgaris on the face.

Depending on the type of chemical peel you had, recovery duration varies.

Superficial chemical peels

The average healing time is four to seven days. You could occasionally have skin that is lighter or darker.

Medium chemical peels

Your skin will recover from a medium chemical peel in around five to seven days, but you may endure months-long redness. Before new skin is visible, your skin initially swells, then develops crusts and black patches.

Deep chemical peels

These chemical peels will leave your skin feeling extremely red, swollen, and blistering. About two weeks will pass before the new skin starts to show, but white patches or cysts could last longer. Frequently, redness lasts for several months. When you recover from the procedure, follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions. You will be provided with comprehensive instructions on how often to wash your face, how often to moisturize, and which products to use.

What kind of aftercare is required following a chemical peel?

The skin becomes extremely sensitive after a chemical peel. Throughout and after the healing phase, strict sun avoidance must be practised. After the peel, the skin may continue to be sun- sensitive for some time. The degree of the peel and the doctor’s preferences will determine how frequently you see them after surgery.

It is important that you completely follow the doctor’s recommendations during the healing process, such as how frequently to wash and moisturise your face. The use of particular skincare items will be advised. Avoid direct sunlight until the skin has healed, and wait for the doctor’s approval before using makeup or cosmetics. Use a cool fan or massage for 20 minutes at a time with ice packs to relieve pain.

Skin Care Instructions Post-Peel

Use only your fingertips and cold water to cleanse your skin; do not use a washcloth or hot water. Moisturize often because allowing the skin to dry out could be uncomfortable.

The skin may get inflamed after being exposed to heat and sunlight. Keep in mind to keep the treated area away from high heat.

Safety: Chemical peels are exceedingly safe when performed by a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or other registered healthcare professional.

It’s important to carefully follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions.

What is the cost of chemical peel?

Depending upon the kind of chemical peel and the type of skin it is indicated for, different chemical peels have different prices in India.

India has a wide range of chemical peel prices depending on the city, the type of skin, and the strength of the peel.

To determine what level of chemical peeling will best meet your skin’s needs, speak with a dermatologist.

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