What is a Chemical peel?

In simple terms a chemical peel is a treatment that uses an acid to remove the outer layers of the skin. The acid is allowed to penetrate into the superficial layer of the skin (epidermis) to produce a quick exfoliation and freshen up or deeper into the skin (dermis) to achieve correction of skin problems. These can be open pores, sun damage, uneven texture, fine lines and laxity.

What are the different types of chemical peels?

Glycolic and Fruit acid peels

Glycolic, Salicylic acid, Mandelic Acid and Lactic acids are common examples of these. They will generally produce superficial peeling or exfoliation only. Fruit acid peels need to be neutralised, therefore incorrect application can lead to significant skin damage. Salicylic acid peels are a useful treatment for active acne especially on the chest and back. Recovery is usually in 1 or 2 days.

TCA peels

Trichloroacetic acids are the basis for these types of peels, they can be used as a superficial exfoliation or a medium depth peel. They can improve scarring and produce skin tightening. Recovery takes 7 to 10 days.

Do I need to prepare my skin for a peel?

Ideally skin should be prepared for at least 6 weeks prior to having a peel. Healthy skin heals and regenerates better than unhealthy skin. Therefore properly prepared skin will respond better to a peel.

Can I sunbathe after a peel?

A primary reason for having a skin peel is to reduce and reverse the effects of sun damage. Secondly the skin which regrows after a deeper peel will be more delicate than the skin you had previously. If you wish to benefit long term from the skin peel you must protect yourself from ongoing sun damage. After all you would always ensure that your baby or child wore their sunscreen and avoided sunbathing.