Chemical peels have been proven to be among the most popular non surgical cosmetic procedures
chosen by patients. If you've ever overdone tanning on the beach and peeled afterward, you're
halfway to understanding the cosmetic surgery principle used in chemical peeling. However, it’s not
rays of the sun, but an acid solution which is painted on the skin of the face.
Chemical peels use several types of acid solutions to improve and smooth the texture of your facial
skin. The acid works by removing damaged outer layers and are sometimes also used on the neck and
Chemical peels vary according to their specific ingredients and strength. The actual depth of the
peeling can also depend on other considerations such as how long the solutions remain on the skin
and if they are lightly, heavily or vigorously applied. The most commonly performed peel procedures
are lightly applied to smooth rough dry skin and aids in control of acne.
There are three common types of chemical peels:
- For light to medium uses, physicians use a solution known as AHA (alpha hydroxyl
acid,) which include glycolic, lactic or fruit acid. AHA treatments may require a series
of multiple applications.
- TCA (trichloroacetic acid) is stronger and flays the skin down to a greater
depth. TCA peels are more effective in treating patients with darker skin and offer a shorter
recovery time than with solutions used for lighter peels. A TCA peel may also require pre treatment
with AHA or a Retin-A cream.
- While Phenol, the strongest acid, is used for the deepest peels and is most
commonly used to treat skin wrinkling around the lips and chin. However, Phenol may pose a special
risk for patients with a history of heart disease and Phenol is not usually applied to darker
Although chemical peels may be done in conjunction with a facelift, the peel is not a substitute
for that surgery, nor will it stop aging. A chemical peel is most useful for fine wrinkles on
cheeks, forehead and around the eyes and the vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
Benefits of Chemical
After the top layer of skin is peeled away, new, fresh skin regenerates without imperfections,
lines and wrinkles.
Deeper chemical peels are an effective treatment for the extreme wrinkling caused by spending too
much time in the sun.
Who would best Represent an
Ideal Candidate for Chemical Peels?
The fair skinned, light haired patient who has a very wrinkled face or who has a face dotted with
liver, age and sun spots, freckles or splotching due to taking birth control pills - and wants a
looker, fresher look - would be a good candidate for a chemical peel.
The face that has a dull texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling.
Precancerous keratoses or scaling patches may improve after chemical peeling.
However, the procedure does not correct sags, bulges and deep furrows. Those
conditions are often better treated by face, brow and eye lifts or soft tissue fillers.
How are Chemical Peels
A full face chemical peel usually takes one hour to perform and is safely done in the outpatient
clinic under local anesthesia. Superficial and Medium peels may not require anesthesia while the
deep peels usually require intravenous sedation.
You have to eliminate certain drugs from your system before doing the procedure. But a more limited
procedure - like treating only the wrinkling above the lip - will generally take less than 30
The solution is applied using a sponge, cotton pad, swab or brush. The treatment begins with a
thorough cleaning of the skin to remove any traces of grease with rubbing alcohol or acetone. The
peeling solution is left on the face for a few minutes then removed.
After the peel solution has worked on the skin, it is neutralized with water.
About an hour later, a thick coating of petroleum jelly is layered over the face and covers the
protective crust left by the acid solutions. That crusty layer stays in place for one to two days.
The deeper a peel penetrates, the more visible will be the results. However, the recovery time may
How Much Pain is Associated with
With AHA, the patient only feels some stinging or irritation and sees some redness on the face.
These procedures can cause puffiness in the face which subsides after several days.
Temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness are normal after effects. Ointments, used for
seven to ten days following surgery, keep the skin supple. Some deep chemical peels require a break
from normal activities for one to two weeks.
What are The Long-Term
Effects of Chemical Peels?
Sun block is always recommended after chemical peels, especially after a TCA treatment because your
skin will be extremely sensitive to sunlight and may not tan evenly.
The effects of a phenol chemical peel sometimes last as long as twenty years and have quite
What Are the Risks and Limitations of
Some inadequately trained practitioners claim in advertisements they have “miracle treatments” to
rejuvenate the skin. Possible complications can include scarring and infection of abnormal
Overall, you must be free of skin infections, including acne and any type cold sore, especially
herpes simplex sores.
You must have not taken Acutane for twelve to 18 months before treatment.
And, you will be asked to limit your exposure to the sun for at least a month before undergoing the
What Are The Typical Costs
Associated With Chemical Peels?
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you
are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
Chemical peeling costs are ranging from 500 to 1000 U.S. dollars. When dealing with costs, you also
need to take into consideration the fact that the procedure may need to be repeated. Most medical
insurance providers do not cover this procedure.
FAQ from patients when considering undergoing Chemical
Q - What is the type of
anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
- Local anesthesia, and you can practice your normal life within
2 hours up to few weeks.
Q - What are the
symptoms that may occur in the first five days after peel procedures?
A - Soreness which could be managed by pain
killer’s medications and there may be edema or swelling of the face.
Q - What are the
guarantees that the success of the process?
There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and
close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure. If not, the
process to achieve the agreed outcomes before, the process repeats at reduced cost. The procedure
may needs refine touch after 2 weeks.
Q - When can we get the
A - The final results is achieved after the first three weeks.
Q - Is the peeled face
A - Yes.
Q - What is ideal age
for chemical peels?
A - It could be done at any age.
Q - If you are not
Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
- One day.
Q - What are the
contraindications of peeling procedures?
There are no absolute contraindications but the patients should inform
their surgeons about any allergies, serious medical conditions, and medications they may be taking
Q - Where will the
chemical peel procedures be performed?
In outpatient bases (clinic).
Q - In my case, what is
most appropriate peeler to help me achieve my cosmetic goal?
A - It depend on the your age, skin features
and your preference.
Q - How much does peel
procedure cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees, anesthesia, and so
A - Ranging from 500
to 1000 U.S. dollars. Medical insurance dose not cover peel procedures.
Q - What is the
surgeon’s level of experience in performing chemical peel procedures?
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic
Q - What percentage of
patients experience complications with peeling procedures?
A - 3 - 5%
Chemical peeling Procedures:
The time of the procedure: from half to two hours.
Type of anesthesia: local anesthesia +/- sedation.
effects: Temporary swelling
return to work after 2 hours and the final outcome
within 3 weeks.
according to peeler ranging from 500 to 1000 U.S.
according to peeler ranging from months to years and sometimes