Facial peels are a chemical, cosmetic treatment that can be performed on oneself or by a dermatologist to help eliminate freckles, blemishes, light scarring, age spots, and any other kind of skin irregularity on one’s face. They are sometimes referred to as chemical peels, and can additionally improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and restore sun-damaged skin.
Commercial available dermabrasion systems and chemical peel creams can be bought at your local drugstore or beauty supply store. These products contain a mild concoction of alphahydroxy acids and chemicals that reduce dead skin cells, uncovering the new skin beneath that is more even in tone and fresher.
To use, simply apply the cream evenly on the face and let sit for several minutes. Afterwards, scrub or rinse off with water. Some products include a dermabrasion tool that massages the facial peel into the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells simultaneously. It is possible for one to have an allergic reaction to topical peel treatments, so always apply a small amount on a patch of skin to see how the body reacts before proceeding.
For a more invasive peel, dermatologists can recommend a professional chemical peel that can only be performed by plastic surgeons. These are performed with stronger chemical creams, or possibly even laser surgery. In general, professional peels will reduce even more layers of skin, thereby eliminating or at minimum reducing the appearance of darker and deeper blemishes.
This procedure produces the greatest results on scarring and superficial skin marks, those with large patches of dark pigmentation or deep scarring will not be cured by a facial peel. Additionally, these treatments can also reduce wrinkles without requiring a complete facelift.
There are risks associated with having a facial peel. Some of the chemicals present in facial creams may bleach the skin, and there is the possibility of infection or even scarring. After a facial peel, the skin will appear swollen and red, and feel sensitive to the touch.
Since layers of skin are removed with chemicals, scabs may potentially form. Typically these side-effects are minor, healing by themselves after a few days, but deep facial peels require a longer recovery period.
Chemical peels are entirely cosmetic. They do not affect the aging process, nor can they fix any chronic skin conditions. Mild facial peels can be performed once every three to six months, but deeper peels need more time between treatments to allow the skin to recuperate and renew itself.
When receiving any surgical treatment, first consult your physician to determine if there are any outstanding concerns or issues. Research who your plastic surgeon is to see how reputable he is, and whether or not he is the right fit for you. Following surgery, pay close attention to any information your surgeon provides you in regards to how to take care of your skin.
Photo Credit: Paul Mitchell The School ESANI