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Chemical Skin Peels

beauty_reviewsA chemical peel is a procedure to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and some of the living skin cells at the very top of your skin.

There are several types of chemical peels but all peels remove the top layers of the skin, to reveal new skin underneath which grows back as a younger fresher skin.

Some peels are thin and some peels are thick – thin peels are referred to as superficial peels, and thick peels are referred to as deeper peels. There are three general types of peels – superficial, intermediate and deep peels.

All peels usually need to be repeated and all have the same side effects. Most peels will not remove all your skin damage but they should all make you look fresher.

There are peels that you can buy over the counter, peels that a nurse can do and peels that a doctor can do.

The most superficial peels are with substances such as glycolic acid and this is found in many over the counter preparations and peels performed by beauticians. These have a short recovery time and have a mild but noticeable effect which should last several weeks.

The intermediate peels are performed with trichloroacetic acid, or TCA as it is known. TCA peels can be concentrated or diluted according to how deep we want to go, and several layers of peel can be given to go a little deeper if necessary for your skin requirements.

We usually use 20-30% for most people and use one to four passes depending on how much time you have to recover and what effect you are looking to achieve.

The recovery time is a little longer than the more superficial peels but the effects are more dramatic and last longer. Peels of this strength need to be performed by a doctor, though some weaker solutions of TCA peels can be performed by nurses.

The deepest peels are performed using lasers and phenol. Phenol is generally no longer used because some of it is absorbed and can be toxic, but is very effective at giving a deep peel in those facilities that do not use lasers.

Deep peels can be very effective for more intensive treatment requirements, but the recovery time is longer and there are more side effects to consider.

Laser treatments should only be performed on the recommendation of a plastic surgeon (or dermatologist experienced in lasers).


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Chemical peels are best used for treatment of mild to moderate skin problems. They work particularly well to restore sun damaged skin and can help with very fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and lips. A peel can help restore evenness to your complexion and should freshen your skin and can remove some of the sun damaged areas of freckling around the cheeks.

When performed as part of an overall package of care for facial rejuvenation it can be considered the icing on the cake for your overall look. We want you to look your best and sometimes a chemical peel will be part of your treatment recommendation.

TCA Peels

A chemical peel using TCA can be performed in the out patient clinic and takes around 15 minutes. After the treatment someone should drive you home and you can perform your usual daily activities in shortly thereafter.

During the application of the peel, you will feel a stinging sensation which is neutralised with water. After the peel is applied, your skin will become frosty white which is a good sign of the peel working.

The aftercare depends on the strength of treatment and the number of passes but usually involves the application of cold water for around 6 hours to the face via a face towel and moisturiser (eg Vaseline) thereafter for a few days until your skin stops peeling.

After a few days you should notice some of the dead layer of the skin coming off in the Vaseline with fresher newer skin revealing itself below. A deeper TCA peel may need longer periods of skin care and more superficial peels will require less intensive aftercare.

After your skin stops peeling and you stop using Vaseline you should go back to using your usual moisturizer.

Things To Consider

Preparing Your Face for a Peel
Maintaining Your New Complexion
Preparing Your Face for a Peel
The Risks of a Peel

For all these reasons it is important to contact us if you have any problems after a chemical peel. We want to look after you so that you can get the best result for your skin and complexion.

Questions About Chemical Skin Peels At La Belle Forme

What Can I Expect
Who Should Avoid Chemical Skin Peel Treatment
What To Avoid Before a Chemical Peel