Chemical peels are skin-resurfacing procedures where a chemical solution is applied to the skin, to remove the top layers, revealing fresh skin layers. These layers then show improved tone, texture, and colour. This is an effective dermatological treatment to assist with wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation. Chemical Peels are the 4th most common non-invasive aesthetic procedure in the States of America and over a million are performed on skin each year.
There are various layers of the skin, which is the largest organ in the body. The superficial, highest external layer of skin, is called the stratum corneum. Below the surface of our skin is the epidermis and the lowest level of skin is the dermis.
Chemical peels tend to be placed in three general categories:
Superficial or light peels are the mildest type of chemical peels and are safe for all skin types. These peels do not penetrate the skin and are better known as topical or surface peels on the stratum corneum. With these peels, the skin may feel tight for a couple of hours afterwards and bear in mind that regular treatment needed to maintain the effects
Medium depth peels penetrate the skin typically to the epidermal level and can even reach the papillary level of the dermis depending on application technique. These peels can be very effective in treating aging in the skin, reducing pigment and eliminating sun damage. Downtime is that it can take up to six weeks for the skin to return to normal and treatment is needed every 6 to 12 months to maintain the effects
Deep peels penetrate all the way to the dermis and are a much more invasive procedure. The peels can take up to 14 days to recover from and actually “burn” the skin in order to eliminate damage and bring new skin to the surface layers. They tend to be more painful and have a longer downtime which can produce swelling for 2 weeks and skin redness may take up to 3 months to clear
The NHS has the following to say about peels, so please bear this in mind:
"Chemical peels can be expensive and have their limitations.
Cost: In the UK, chemical peels cost about £60-£100 for mild peels. Deeper peels may cost over £500.
Limitations: The effects of a superficial or medium peel aren't permanent. The effects of a deeper peel are long-lasting, but this is much more expensive, painful and risky.
Safety: Take time to find a reputable practitioner who is properly qualified and practises in a clean, safe and appropriate environment. Ask the practitioner what you should do if something were to go wrong."