What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure in which a chemical solution, either Phenol, Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or Alphahydroxy acid (AHA) is applied on the skin to remove layers of dead skin cells and, stimulate new skin growth to give a smooth and refreshing appearance.
A chemical peel can be used to enhance the results of other cosmetic procedures as the removal of the external skin layer allows for a deeper penetration of topical agents.
Chemical peels are also used to remove skin blemishes, certain pre-cancerous skin growths, ‘sun spots’, soften acne scars and even control acne outbreaks.
Who should consider a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are appropriate for people who have a desire to enhance their appearance or want to reverse signs of the skin’s ageing process. A chemical peel is also appropriate for people with fine lines, wrinkles, skin blemishes, pigmentation, large pores and sun-damaged skin.
Light Peels or “Mini Peels”
Light Peels or Mini Peels are the mildest types of peels. Both peels are only used to remove very superficial layers of skin. These types of peels are used to freshen up your complexion, leaving your skin with a smooth healthy glow without the need for any downtime.
Some of the following issues can be addressed with light or mini peels:
- Rough and dry skin;
- Fine wrinkles;
- Sun damaged skin texture;
- Acne control;
- Pigmentation problems; and
- Pre-treatment for a TCA peel.
What chemicals are used for a Light Peel?
At Skinnotion, we perform light peels using Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA) such as glycolic, fruit or lactic acid. AHA’s are mild organic acids derived from sugarcane, fruit and milk. AHA’s are the mildest form of peel formulas, producing the effects of a light peel or skin exfoliation.
What is a Light Peel and how does it work?
During a light peel procedure, a chemical peel will be applied on the area to be treated using a cotton pad, swab or a brush. The peel is left on the skin for about 10 minutes before being removed.
Glycolic acid and lactic acid dissolve the lipid bonds which hold the dead skin cells in the stratum corneum or the outer layer of the skin. This leads to the removal of dead cells on the superficial layer of the skin and a thinner stratum corneum. A thinner stratum corneum not only leads to clearer skin but, also allows better absorption of topical agents such as creams, antioxidants, and retinoids. AHA’s also lead to a thickening of living skin layers and retention of water, whilst decreasing fine wrinkles and making the skin plumper.
What can I expect during the recovery period?
Light peels do not have any downtime, but you may experience some mild flaking of the skin for about a week after the treatment.
How often do I need a Light Peel?
The best results can be achieved within four to six light peel treatments at two week intervals. This should be followed by maintenance treatments every three months.
Are there any complications? Will it damage my skin?
Light Peels are safe procedures and the chances of serious complications are very low. Skin damage after a light peel treatment is rare though you may experience redness. In rare cases, you may have an allergic reaction or scarring if the peel is kept on for too long.
Can I do a Light Peel myself?
You can perform a light peel yourself at home though, it is advisable to get it done by a professional using a higher concentration of the AHA peel.
Can I apply makeup after a Light Peel?
You can apply makeup immediately after your light peel treatment.
Medium Peels are used for the exfoliation of the skin to the upper dermis level. Medium peels can be used to treat pre-cancerous skin damage, facial wrinkles, blotches, blemishes and irregular pigmentation.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used in many concentrations for medium depth peeling. TCA is used to treat pigmentation, superficial wrinkles and blemishes.
Phenol is the strongest chemical solution used and is utilised to produce a deep peel. Phenol can be employed to treat coarse wrinkles, sun-damaged skin and pre-cancerous growths.
At Skinnotion, we use OBAGI BLUE PEEL, which is a chemically superior peel and has been clinically proven to produce excellent results. It allows the surgeon to customise the depth and the number of peels according to different skin types. This is not possible with other peels.
What is an Obagi Blue Peel? And how does it work?
An Obagi Blue Peel uses a low concentration of TCA that is mixed with a special blue base for slow penetration of the skin.
During the treatment, a number of Obagi Blue Peel coats (as determined by our cosmetic physician to get the desired results) are applied on your skin. The Blue Peel penetrates to the immediate recticular dermis (IRD) to remove layers of damaged and aged skin, thus improving skin tone, colour, shrinking pore size and diminishing wrinkles.
What is unique about the Blue Peel?
The blue peel, unlike AHA peels, allows your cosmetic physician to control the depth of the peel, and the number of peels needed, in order to get optimum results for your skin. The blue peel can also be used on the neck, hands, chest, back, arms and legs.
OBAGI BLUE PEEL™ vs THE ALPHA HYDROXY PRODUCTS
An Obagi Blue Peel is a state-of-the-art product in skin rejuvenation. It uses slow acting HCA instead of glycolic acids which are used in the Alpla Hydroxy products. The cosmetic physician is able to control the depth of the peel and the peel procedure, allowing the treatment to be customised according to your skin condition.
What can I expect during the recovery period?
You will experience a mild burning sensation during the procedure, so we use cool air to ease the discomfort. You will have a bluish tint on your face immediately after your Obagi Blue Peel treatment which, generally wears off in about 12 to 24 hours. You will also experience skin peeling after two to three days which may continue for about a week.
How often do I need a Medium Peel?
The number of medium peel treatments required depends upon the condition of your skin. You would normally require two to three treatments at intervals of four weeks. You will need annual maintenance treatments for best results.
Are there any complications?
A TCA skin peel treatment is a safe procedure without any major complications. Pigmentation and scarring are rare after the procedure. Dark skinned people should not undergo a medium peel treatment as it may cause hyper pigmentation. The chances of skin damage are minimal though you may experience redness, tightness and peeling of the skin. In rare cases, you may also experience an allergic reaction to the chemical.
Can I do a Medium Peel procedure myself?
A medium peel is a medical procedure and must be performed by a professional.
Can I apply makeup after a Medium Peel?
You should not apply make up for around seven to ten days after your Obagi Blue Peel treatment.
How will my skin look after a chemical face peel?
Once the skin peeling is complete you will see a dramatic improvement in your skin’s complexion. Over the next four to six weeks the skin’s appearance will be enhanced further. The skin will look more vibrant, cleaner, firmer, and healthier after a TCA peel.
What type of products should I use on my skin?
You should use Obagi Nu-Derm products after having an Obagi Blue Peel treatment. These specific products help to improve your skin’s health through stimulation and correction.
Chemical Peels for Men
Recent research has shown that men are three times more likely to have sun damaged skin and skin cancer in comparison to women.
Chemical peels can help to restore a healthy brighter looking skin. A TCA peel can help men with scars, razor bumps and pigmentation.
Chemical Peel Costs
A Chemical peel cost depends upon the type of treatment:
- Superficial chemical peel with 75% Lactic Acid – $50.00;
- Medium 15 % TCA skin peeling treatment – $250.00;
- 15% TCA with Obagi Blue Peel – $450.00; and
- Deep 20% TCA with Obagi Blue Peel – $650.00.
Want to know more about Chemical Peel Treatment in Sydney?
Contact Skinnotion now on 02 4655 6638.
You may be prescribed Retin A which is a medicine derived from Vitamin A to pre-treat the skin. Retin A medicine thins the layer of the skin, allowing the TCA peels to penetrate deeper and more evenly.
In case you are unable to use Retin A, an alternative AHA cream will be prescribed. Should you have blotchy skin or pigmentation issues, a bleaching agent called Hydroquinone may be used with the medicine or the cream.
You may have to have pre-treatment for a month or possibly longer prior to your TCA skin peeling treatment.
Whilst sleeping, we advise to keep your head elevated for about two weeks after your TCA peel treatment. In order to remove any peeling skin and crusting that can develop, you should clean the treated area multiple times daily with a gauge soaked in tepid water. You should also regularly apply any ointments prescribed to you on the treated area. After the treatment you must use a sun block regularly.
FAQsHow safe are chemical peels?
Chemical peels are very safe procedures with minimal risks. Rarely is there any allergic chemical reaction or unexpected scarring. Scars only tend to appear as a result of picking scabs and infection. Prophylactic creams and antibiotics may be prescribed.
No, hospitalisation is not required for a TCA peel treatment. It is done on a sterile environment.
Immediately after your TCA peel treatment, you may experience some regular side effects such as discomfort and redness which, usually lasts for less than 24 hours. You may also experience some swelling, which will abate in 2 to 3 days. In rare cases, you may develop hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation.
There is no age limit for the procedure and any adult above the age of 18 can undergo a TCA skin peel treatment.
During the procedure, you may feel a burning sensation for about 2 to 3 minutes which is usually tolerable.
Complications are rare after a TCA peel treatment.
It is highly unlikely that you will develop skin irregularities after your chemical peel treatment.
You may experience some swelling after an Obagi Blue Peel Treatment, which usually subsides in two to three days.
The recovery period varies from person to person and also depends upon the type of treatment. Skin peeling usually begins two to three days after the treatment, and takes about seven to ten days for the skin to completely peel off.
It depends upon the type of treatment undertaken. For example, it won’t be necessary to take time off work after a light peel treatment. However, you may need to take two to three days off work after your Obagi Blue Peel Treatment. If you have undergone a deep peel treatment, it may be necessary to have a week off work after the procedure.
You should avoid strenuous exercises for about two weeks after your TCA skin peel treatment.
You should avoid exposure to the sun until your skin has completely peeled. After this period you must apply sunscreen regularly and limit your exposure to the sun.
You can continue with your normal diet after your TCA skin peel treatment.
The result is long lasting however, not permanent as the skin is continually ageing. You will need regular treatments to maintain the effects.
Scarring is uncommon after a chemical peel treatment. However, in rare cases, scarring may occur due to an infection or picking scabs. Rarely, your skin is sensitive to the peel, which in turn may cause scarring.
A chemical peel treatment is usually not carried out under sedation so you can drive back home after your treatment. In the case of a medium or deep peel, you may be given sedation. And, if that is the case, you should arrange for someone else to take you home.
You need to return for post-operative care to allow our physician to monitor your progress.
The content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to substitute the professional medical advice given by a physician during an in-office consultation and examination. Any photographs/illustrations on this website cannot be copied and reprinted in any way without written permission from Skinnotion.