About five years ago, I had this bright red and ugly looking broken blood vessel below my left eye and I decided to get it removed with a laser. Without putting any thought into researching my options, I went to the first so called “dermatologist” I found online and went to the appointment. That’s when it went wrong.
Instead of a laser he used a tiny needle which left me with a reddish, permanent scar the size of a five cent coin. My husband took me to a real dermatologist to have the scar looked at. After about 10 Chemical Peel treatments in the practice, daily treatments with prescription chemicals at home and hundreds of dollars later, my scar was gone.
So, what are Chemical Peels and how do they work?
Chemical peels refer to a broad range of chemical treatments for the skin. Chemical peels regenerate and resurface the skin at varying depths depending on the solution and concentration used. There are three basic types of chemical peels: Superficial peels remove the dead layers of the skin and can help improve uneven pigmentation, whilst medium depth peels target the deeper layers of the epidermis. Deeper peels have the ability to stimulate collagen production, which can improve both skin texture and tone.
How is a chemical peel performed?
The chemical peel solution is applied to the skin. It is common for the patient to feel a tingling or stinging sensation as the chemical peel is applied. After the skin peel solution has been on the skin for the prescribed amount of time, it is washed off with water.
What risks and dangers are associated with Chemical Peels?
There are a number of side effects and possible complications that can occur after receiving a chemical peel treatment; these can include excessive and even long-term redness, loss of pigmentation, increase of pigmentation, acne activation, alteration of skin texture, scarring and much more such as:
Chemical peel treatment is capable of causing a breakout of the herpes virus. The herpes virus is what is responsible for causing the likes of cold sores. Only in very rare circumstances will a chemical peel cause any form of fungal or bacterial infection.
The strength of the treatment will determine the level and duration of redness that will occur in your skin. An AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) peel may cause little or no redness at all whereas a TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) peel may cause significant levels of redness that may last for days or even weeks. Please note: Redness may differ from patient to patient.
Flaking and peeling
Flaking and peeling skin are two normal reactions from receiving a chemical peel. It is important that you never pick at flaking or peeling skin to avoid infection and scarring. Depending on the type of peel you receive, you will be provided with a lotion or ointment in order to protect the new skin that is revealed once your skin begins to flake and peel.
Change in skin colour
Another reaction and often a risk that can be caused by chemical peels is change in skin colour. In very rare circumstances, there is a chance to develop hyper pigmentation or even hypo pigmentation after receiving such treatment.
The side effects listed above are a result of the peel’s chemical compounds, which are designed specifically to remove older layers the skin in order to reveal new and much fresher looking skin. Patients should always consult their health care specialist before undergoing any type of chemical peel and should be aware of any potential dangers and risks that may occur from receiving treatment.
I would never recommend DIY chemical peels at home without professional advice and instructions; let a qualified dermatologist take care of this for you and do your research to find the best.
Have you ever had a Chemical Peel done? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.