A chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. Facial skin is mostly treated, and the body and scarring can be improved. Chemical peels are intended to remove the outermost layers of the skin. To accomplish this task, the chosen peel solution induces a controlled injury to the skin. Resulting wound healing processes begin to regenerate new tissues.
The dead skin eventually peels off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license, however people are advised to seek professional help from a dermatologist, esthetician, plastic surgeon, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or otolaryngologist on a specific type of chemical peel before a procedure is performed.
Alpha hydroxy acid peels
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with facial washes, serums or creams in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin's texture.
There are five usual fruit acids: citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and tartaric acid. Many other alpha hydroxy acids exist and are used. AHA peels are not indicated for treating wrinkles. AHA peels may cause stinging, skin redness, mild skin irritation, and dryness. Higher pH levels and lower percentages of hydroxy acids are commonly used as home peels. These will not work as quickly as an in-office procedure, but can be economical for many people.
Beta hydroxy acid peels
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It is antibacterial and antiinflammatory and, as a result, works well for acne. Salicylic acid also has the ability to reduce the spots and bumps associated with acne. It is becoming common for beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels to be used instead of the stronger alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels due to BHA's being oil soluble. Studies show that BHA peels control sebum excretion, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHAs due to AHAs only working on the surface of the skin.
Retinoic acid peel
Retinoic acid is a retinoid. This type of facial peel is also performed in the office of a plastic surgeon, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or a dermatologist in a medical spa setting. This is a deeper peel than the beta hydroxy acid peel and is used to remove scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation problems. It is usually performed in conjunction with a Jessner; which is performed right before, in order to open up the skin, so the retinoic acid can penetrate on a deeper level. The client leaves with the chemical peel solution on their face. The peeling process takes place on the third day.