What Does a Chemical Peel Do?
The skin is the largest organ and forms a resilient protective covering over your body. Over time, it is exposed to external damage by excessive sunlight, pollution and other environmental factors, which causes signs of aging such as uneven skin tone, patchiness, acne, spots and scarring. A chemical peel offers a less invasive method of tackling these problems for a fresher appearance. Known also as derma peeling or chemexfoliation, a chemical peel is typically used on the face, but can also be used on the neck and hands. Chemical peels are generally used to:
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines
- Treat wrinkles and rough skin
- Reduce age spots, dark patches, sun damage and freckles
- Reduce the appearance of scarring and acne
- Improve the look and texture of dull and aged skin
A chemical peel is done by applying a chemical mixture including alphahydroxy, trichloroacetic and phenol acids to the skin for a period of time before it is washed off and neutralized with saline solution. The acids cause the surface skin to peel off, leaving new fresh skin in its place. Slight burning and stinging sensations may be felt during the process.
There are three degrees of chemical peels: light, medium and deep. Light chemical peels provide surface exfoliation and can be repeated weekly intervals to get the desired effect. Medium chemical peels are used to treat deeper skin issues, such as heavy wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone, and has a slightly longer recovery time. Deep chemical peels have more dramatic effects and are used to treat sun damaged skin, severe wrinkles, blotchiness and pre-cancerous skin growths. This procedure can require a local anesthetic along with sedatives for discomfort and a lengthier time to heal.
Learning About Toronto Chemical Peel
The right skin care differs between individuals. Dr. Marietta Zorn, a leading cosmetic surgeon in Toronto, recommends patients discuss with their doctors the need for a chemical peel versus other options, what degree of chemical peel is required for their specific skin condition and the type of chemicals to be used during the process, so patients fully understand what the procedure entails and the expected results.
In Toronto, a chemical peel is an outpatient procedure, so patients are able to return home soon after. Treated skin will continue to peel for a few days up to weeks depending on the types of chemicals used, the depth of the peeling and skin sensitivity. There may be redness, swelling, discomfort and slight pain, which can be managed with prescribed medication. Toronto’s Dr. Zorn advises patients follow the post-procedure care and precautions. Except for redness and swelling, there are few side effects, and patients may resume their normal activity almost immediately. Exposure to the sun should be avoided until the new skin is less sensitive to sunlight.