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Post Chemical Peel: Over the next 1 to 14 days, depending on how deeply the chemical penetrated the skin, the skin peels off. Factors that may affect the depth of a peel include the acid concentration of the peeling agent, number of coats applied, and the amount of time allowed before the acid is neutralized. Deeper peels result in more dramatic effect, higher risks, increased pain, and longer healing time.
Three Basic Types of Peels
Light/Superficial Peels: An Alpha-hydroxy acid is made according to the chemistry of your skin. The patient may feel slight irritation or experience redness. Flakes and dryness are common side effects. Because AHA peels are mild compared to other chemical peels, your treatment plan may require repeat treatments to achieve desired results.
Medium Chemical Peels: Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the main peeling agent used in medium strength peels. Medium level peels go deeper into the skin to reduce acne and acne scars, reduce wrinkles, fine lines, age spots or other signs of sun damage. Following the procedure, patients may experience facial swelling, throbbing, irritation, redness, crusting, and scabs. These side effects are temporary, usually lasting 7-10 days.
Deep Peels: High level TCA 20-35% and Phenol peels provide dramatic improvement to the skin, penetrating deep wrinkles, restoring pigmentation, and at times, eliminating pre-cancerous growths. Healing can take several weeks. Substantial facial swelling, crusting, and scabbing are common. Deep peels are usually not recommended for dark skin or if your skin is prone to keloid formation. Deep peels can provide a dramatic result for the skin and help treat multiple skin issues. However, deep chemical peels cannot eliminate sagging skin.
In general, the deeper the peel, the greater the risk is of side effects and complications. Typical side effects include:
- Redness (Erythema) – Expect some redness of the skin after a chemical peel. This usually fades within a week or a few weeks.
- Color changes in the skin – Treated areas may appear darker after treatment.
- Crusting and scaling
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