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What is a chemical face peel?

A chemical face peel, chemexfoliation or derma peeling, is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin. These facial treatments use a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the outer layers damaged by sun exposure, acne or ageing. Learn more about chemical peels for the face.

Overview

Chemical peels, also called chemexfoliation or derma peeling are non-invasive skin treatments that use chemicals to exfoliate or remove the outer layers of the skin that have been damaged by excessive sun exposure, normal ageing or acne. Although the procedure is popularly used for facial treatments, it can also be used to improve the skin on your neck and hands.
Benefits of face peels Aside from sun damage, acne and fine wrinkles, chemical face peels can also help to improve irregular skin pigmentation, freckles, rough skin and scaly patches and scars.
Chemical used for skin peels Face peels involve careful application of chemicals to your skin to improve the texture. The chemicals used are phenol (phenol peel), trichloroacetic acid (TCA peel) and alphahydroxy acids (AHA peel).

How it works

Before any of these is applied, your face will be cleansed. Next, the chemical solution is brushed onto your skin and left for a few minutes, depending on the type of facial treatment. The chemical peel is then washed off and neutralised with cool saline compresses. The process may be repeated after a month or more to maintain a glowing new skin. To treat deeper facial wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, scars, areas that appear blotchy, pre-cancerous growths, deep facial chemical peels may be needed. Anesthetics may be applied on the face and sedatives may be given to reduce discomfort.
What to expect You may feel some mild burning or stinging on the skin during the procedure. Your skin may turn red or brown for a few days following the peel and it may take up to six weeks for your skin to look normal. A deep chemical peel will produce
long-lasting and dramatic results which can last for several years, but be ready for peeling, redness and discomfort that may occur for several days. The doctor will give you painkillers to keep you comfortable. Although the swelling is likely to disappear in a couple of weeks, your skin may be red for up to three months.

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