What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is an exfoliation technique in which a number of different skin layers are peeled off, in a controlled manner, to remove old and damaged cells and stimulate the production of new skin cells by applying certain
chemical products to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes smoother, fresher and more beautiful.
Chemical peels are mainly used to prevent and to reduce early signs of skin aging or to improve the texture
and/or complexion of the skin. Some dermatological conditions can also be treated with peels, such as acne,
melasma, or other pigmentations and irregularities on the skin.
Depending on the number of skin layers that are peeled off, a peeling can be superficial, medium or deep.
Our practice focuses on superficial and medium peels.
With superficial peeling, several layers of the epidermis are peeled off. The peeling is used to treat skin
problems such as blemishes linked to oily skin (comedones, microcysts, dilated pores), superficial
pigmentation or to refresh the complexion. It is an ideal treatment for dull complexions due to fatigue or smoking.
The products we use are glycolic acid (fruit acid or AHA), salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
Superficial peels give the best results when different sessions are performed with a 2 to 4 week interval.
Depending on the indication, 4 to 6 sessions are usually provided. The procedure takes 15 to 20 minutes each
time and is little to not painful. After a superficial peel, the skin will flake slightly for a few days and will need extra hydration, but only to the extent that you can continue your social and professional activities.
With a medium peeling, not only the epidermis but also the superficial part of the dermis is peeled off, so that
you work deeper into the skin. This allows to improve the texture and also the complexion of the skin, both in
terms of fine wrinkles and pigmentation due to sun damage.
Medium deep peels use TCA that is applied in several layers, sometimes combined with other acids to
enhance the effect.
Usually a single treatment is sufficient, but depending on the indication, the sessions can be repeated with a few months interval. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes and a burning sensation can be experienced. However, pain medication prior to treatment and cooling with cold air during the peeling make this procedure very tolerable.
Given the deeper effect, the results after a medium peel are better compared to a superficial peel. On the other hand, people peel off very visibly and this for 7 to 10 days. It should therefore be taken into account that it might be necessary to interrupt social and professional activities for 10 days.
What should you know if you are considering a peel?
Very important with a peeling, both superficial and medium, is the preparation. After all, both the recovery after the peeling and its result will be better after adequate preparation. Depending on the type of peeling, the skin should be prepared between 2 to 4 weeks before the treatment with products intended for this.
It is also very important to avoid the sun after the peeling and to use sun creams with a high protection factor, both between the sessions and several weeks to even months afterwards.
During a preliminary consultation, the dermatologist will determine which peel is most suitable for you. It will also be discussed which preparation and aftercare the treatment will require.