A chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. In performing chemical peels, physicians apply alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol to the skin.
Typically administered as a facial peel, a chemical peel enhances and smoothes the texture of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. They exfoliate the outer layers of dead skin, revealing a new skin layer with improved tone, texture, and color. In addition to full facial rejuvenation, certain types of skin peels can also be used for spot treatments and as a way to remove stretch marks or rejuvenate skin elsewhere on the body.
The chemical peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world, and was performed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to help people achieve smoother, more beautiful skin. Today, chemical facial peels are popular because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
Risks and Benefits
Chemical peels rarely result in serious complications, but certain risks do exist. These risks include scarring, infection, swelling, changes in skin tone, and cold sore outbreaks. You can reduce the risks associated with facial peels by following all of the doctor’s instructions completely and by providing your doctor with a complete medical history.
A chemical facial peel can provide several benefits to the skin. The procedure can restore a more youthful appearance to skin and reduce wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, sun-damage, and blotchy patches.