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In the past few years, the science of skin care has changed drastically, and while, once upon a time, the only options to make a face look younger and the skin more supple were surgical, today, there are several other ways out. From microdermabrasion to hydrafacials, there are now so many manners in which the delicate skin of the face can be pampered. In addition, there are also several new methods by which, the skin can be taken back a few years – as in, the youth and suppleness of the skin can be returned.

One such procedure that has become extremely popular in the past few years, is a chemical peel. In this article and the following one, we will take a closer look at what a chemical peel is and how it can change the look of one’s skin.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel, which is also known as derma peeling or chemexfoliation, is perhaps one of the most minimally invasive method of improving the nature or appearance of facial skin. The method can be used to smoothen the texture of the skin, by simply removing the top most layer of the skin, also known as epidermis.  This will make your face look younger and the skin will have a fresher and healthier look.

It is important to note that the chemicals peels are not exclusively for the face, and can be used for other parts of the body too, especially the hands, back and neck. A chemical peel would be an ideal solution for people who have lost the texture of their skin due to age, over exposure to the sun, excessive usage of cosmetic products or even acne.

What can chemical peels help with?

If the chemical peel has been done by a professional, under controlled circumstances or environment, it can help with several conditions that tend to afflict the skin, including:

  • Liver and age spots
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Acne or scars that have been caused by acne
  • Any other scars
  • Freckles
  • Pigmentation on the skin
  • Skin that has been damaged due to over exposure to the sun
  • Scaly or rough patches on the skin

What can a chemical peel NOT do?

While a properly done chemical peel can treat a range of skin conditions, there are certain conditions that the procedure cannot help with. These include:

  • Tighten skin that has become loose or is starting to sag
  • Treat facial lines or wrinkles that are really deep
  • Remove scars that are very deep
  • Remove capillaries that have broken

Who would prove to be an ideal candidate for a chemical peel?

While most people would be thrilled by the idea of all that a chemical peel can do for facial skin, not everyone can be considered a worthy enough candidate for the procedure. The people who would be considered ideal candidates for a chemical peel would be those who:

  • Have no history of any abnormal skin scarring
  • Have no warts or active infection on the face
  • Have had no specialised acne treatment for at least a year

However, only a dermatologist or cosmetologist will be able to give the final diagnosis of whether someone can get a chemical peel or not.

What can one expect at the consultation sessions for a chemical peel?

When a person approaches a doctor with the intention of getting a chemical peel, there will be a fair few steps involved. These would include:

  • Why you want to get a chemical peel and whether you have realistic expectations from the procedure
  • Whether you have any medical conditions, allergies or prior surgeries
  • Your alcohol consumption and smoking habits
  • Whether you are on any medications, vitamins or herbal supplements

You will also be made to understand the possible risks and side effects, so that you are able to make a fully informed decision.

This would also be a good time to have all your doubts and queries clarified and you should not feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask anything.

What are the possible risks or complications associated with a chemical peel?

If the procedure has been done by an experienced professional, there are very less chances that anything goes wrong, however, there are a few possible complications associated with this procedure. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • There could be an infection or scarring from the chemicals being used
  • People who have had herpes or cold sores in the past, could notice a recurrence of the same
  • There is a reason why people of certain skin types are not considered ideal candidates for chemical peels, and this is because there could be the chance of the skin colour changing permanently. This means that the skin could either become lighter or darker, than the present skin tone.
  • If there is a history of overgrowth of scar tissue, it would be best that you inform your doctor beforehand.

In the next article, we will continue to look at chemical peels, concentrating on the actual procedure.


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