Chemical Peel

Chemical Peels

chemical peel

Chemical peels are widely regarded as the best treatment for facial blemishes, fine wrinkles and other minor skin conditions that arise with age. A very common application of chemical peels is to correct uneven skin pigmentation.

Chemical peels are often a permanent solution for people that are unhappy with the current condition of their skin. By far, the most common area that a chemical peel is used to correct is the face but it can be used to improve other areas of the body.

Chemical peels have added benefits that include the removal of pre-cancerous material from the surface of the skin.

In cases where chemical peels actually prevent serious conditions and diseases, health insurance may cover the costs. However, if chemical peels are used as a purely cosmetic procedure, health insurance companies are usually reluctant to pay any of the associated costs. Below are several items to consider before making a decision on whether a chemical peel is right for you.

The Different Types of Chemical Peels

The effectiveness of a chemical peel is solely dependent on the type of solution that is used. Before deciding to get a chemical peel, you should be aware of the various kinds of chemicals that perform different functions:

  • Alphahydroxy Acids: This type of chemical peel is used to make your skin smoother and can be used to alleviate especially dry skin. In addition, sun and acne damaged skin can readily be treated with alphahydroxy acid peels. This type of peel is often mixed with other solutions to correct pigmentation problems. People that undergo other types of peels are often given this type as a preparation.

  • Trichloroacetic Acid: This type of skin peel is used to reduce the appearance of small wrinkles and remove minor blemishes. In addition, trichloroacetic acid peels are often used to solve pigmentation imbalances. This type of peel is one of the fastest healing peels but often requires long term treatment periods. In addition to its facial applications, it can be used on other parts of the body as necessary.

  • Phenol: Phenol peels are used to smooth wrinkles that trichloroacetic acid peels cannot address. In addition, it has applications in the removal of blemishes and pre-cancerous material. This type of peel is designed for use only on the face. Phenol peels require both the longest sessions and healing periods after treatment. Sessions may last several hours and recovery periods may last up to 4 months. However, phenol peels have the most profound and obvious results of all the solutions.

How do Chemical Peels Work

Chemical peels normally address surface issues of the skin and work by removing dead cell material to expose healthier skin beneath. The less harsh alphahydroxy peels use mainly fruit juices while phenol peels use harsh chemicals to burn deeper into the skin. The application of the peel should take 10-15 minutes and the mask stays on the face for a period determined by the solution used. While alphahydroxy peels generally only stay on your face for around 15 minutes, phenol peels normally take as much time as 2 hours.

Advantages of Chemical Peels

chemical peel

  1. Chemical Peel sessions do not take much time. Although phenol peels can take up to 2 hours, a single session is all that it normally required.

  2. Peels are regarded as non-invasive procedures. Side effects are generally mild and subside in a short amount of time.

  3. Chemical Peels are one of the most effective treatments of blemishes and skin pigmentation problems. In fact, they are the ost commonly used treatments for such problems.

  4. Chemical Peels have applications beyond reducing wrinkles and removing blemishes. Some people use peels to remove birth marks on their body.

  5. There are few problems that can arise during a chemical peel. The steps include only a pre-cleaning, application, set and removal.

    Anesthesia is not required but some doctors use it to relax patients while they wait for the session to be over.

Disadvantages of Chemical Peels

  1. Chemical peels are perhaps surprisingly expensive. Alphahydroxy peels generally cost anywhere from $150-$300. Trichloroacetic acid peels cost anywhere from $1000-$2000. Phenol peels are the most expensive and varied between $2500 and $6000.

  2. While the recovery period after a light or medium peel is short, the recovery period from a phenol peel is one of the longest among non-surgical skin treatments (up to 4 months).

  3. Phenol peels are almost never an option for people with darker skin. The difference between the tone of your face and body after a peel will be very noticeable depending on how dark your skin is.

  4. Phenol peels will permanently cause your face to be unable to tan.

  5. Trichloroacetic and Phenol peels may require you to avoid exposure to the sun during the entire recovery period. In addition, sun burns following these peels may be more frequent and severe without the use of sun block.

Side Effects of Chemical Peels

  • Permanent Scarring: If an incorrect formula is used for the peel, scarring can result after serious burns. There are very few cases of this side effect in a medical setting.

  • Irritation: Your skin will be very sensitive and you may have a burning sensation at times during the recovery period. If the irritation is severe, seek medical attention.

  • Flaking and Peeling: Every chemical peel will cause the skin to gradually flake off and peel. Take care not to pick at your face as this can cause damage to the skin.

  • Pigmentation Changes: Although extremely rare, some patients have noticed a drastic change in the color of their skin after a peel. Some patients have even developed darker skin following a peel. In most cases, this side effect is temporary.

  • Redness: The appearance of your face after a medium or deep peel may make it uncomfortable to be seen in public during the recovery period. After a peel, the peeled area will be very red or flushed.

The Importance of Finding A Qualified Professional

chemical peel

Due to the relatively simple nature of facial peels, it is not uncommon to find unlicensed people performing them at lower rates. Chemical peels come pre-mixed and are available to most people with an internet connection. Serious injury can occur if the peel is not applied correctly or is left on the application area for too long of a time. There have been many cases of people attempting to apply their own peels and many of them ended in injuries or permanent disfigurement.

Not only can a trained professional determine exactly how long to administer the peel, they can assist you in the recovery period and supply the proper formula of peel for your particular problem. Although the price of peels can be a deterrent, the use of a professional is the safest route to choose when using peels as a non-surgical skin treatment.

Is A Chemical Peel Right for You?

Chemical peels have a wide range of applications for various skin conditions. Due to the price of the typical peel, most doctors will offer some sort of financing plan. If a phenol peel is used, the cost is somewhat lessened by the fact that you will probably never require a peel again. In cases where chemical peels are used to remove pre-cancerous material, is it very likely that insurance will help with most or all of the bill.

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