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Every time I consult a patient about chemical peels as a treatment option, the first thoughts that probably crosses their minds is OMG chemical on my face, do I really need it, is this doctor trying to make money out of me, what if my face gets burnt, will it damage my skin, etc.etc.…

This made me write today’s blog. This is an attempt to help clear one’s apprehension about peels.

Q1. What is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are treatment solutions, which are derived from fruits. They are molded to match the pHof skin so as to give only desired results. Sinceit’s chemically modulated it has specific and controlled action on the skin thereby delivering desired results and also helps avoid unwanted effects/side effects are nullified.

Q2. What are the uses of chemical peel and what are the different types of peels?
Peels are superficial, medium or deep. Superficial peel help re-epithelization, which in turn help reduce tanning, pigmentation, acne and its marks and also helps hydrate the skin. Eg: glycolic acid peels, salicylic acid peels, lactic acid peels etc.
Medium depth peels are used when a stronger action is required.It peels the skin to a deeper level thereby helps to address issues like deeper pigmentation, acne scars, melasma, fine lines etc. Few peels cause visible peeling of skin for a day or two, during which time they are expected to protect their skin with basic sunscreen and moisturizers. Eg: Retinol peel, 50 % glycolic peel, TCA peels, Cosmelan peel etc…
Deep peels are often not used for Indian skin type.

Q3. What are the side effects?
Since peels help in removing few dead layers of our skin, one will experience dryness or visible peeling for 0-3 days depending on whether it’s a superficial or medium peel. One has to remember that this the effect and not side effect.
When done under a doctor’s supervision all the side effects can be nullified. This is because the doctor will analyze one’s skin and recommend specific peel depending on your skin condition. The most dreaded side effect of a peel is a scab or persistent redness. Even if this happens skin returns to normal in 3-10 days, the most important aspect of a side effect is to be under a doctor’s supervision.

Q4. My skin is sensitive …can I do a peel …is it safe …
With the advent of gel peels, the safety bar has been raised a notch higher. Gel peels are milder and may take alonger time to give results but are very safe for sensitive skin. The other option is combination peels or what we call cocktail peels, these are acombination of different peels which have synergistic effects. Thereby multiplying effects and reduce side effects.

Q5. How many peels does on require and how often?

The number of peels required would depend on your skin condition, on an average you need to do atleast 2 -3 to start noticing a difference. Skin is an organ and peels are treatment. So the treatment has to be continued until the issue is corrected. Having said that there is no constant number, it actually depends on how long you would do it. Every person has a unique skin cycle and it depends on skin issues, lifestyle, diet, habits, and nutrient levels. So it’s not how many but how long to do it to see results. On an average, it takes about 3 months and 4-6 sessions.
How often …? This again depends on the health of your skin, what condition you are treating, what kind of peel and weather conditions too. If the skin is unhealthy, very dry, damaged,winters, smokers etc. would require a longer healing period so peels are done at 3-4 weeks gap. If the skin is healthy, hydrated or if one has pus-filled pimples which need to be treated aggressively or very deep pigmentation then one might be able to take it more often.

Q6.Can everyone do a peel…?
Yes….. Peels are abasic treatment that suits all skin type. The only requirement is to be done under adoctors supervision and choice of peel should be left to the physician.
I would suggest that everyone should consider doing peels as a maintenance procedure to keeps one’s skin healthy, glowing and issue free.
Is it safe to do peels forever…….. yesss…. Very safe as peels only remove few layers of dead skin to restart your skin to produce new skin cells.
This is the best anti-aging treatment that one can start with.

Q7. If we have to remove dead skin why not scrub ….
Scrubbing is aprocess where we physically abrade the skin.The depth of abrasion will depend on the ingredients, finer, cream based scrubs are lighter on the skin, and coarser products are harsher …..but…. whichever product we use the abrasion is never uniform. We can never guarantee that we have removed the dead skin in a uniform manner…. Hence the skin doesn’t re-epithelizeand causes more harm.
On the other hand, peel removes dead skin more uniformly as it only breaks the bond between cells and sheading is done by our body mechanism.

Q8. Can we do peels as a maintenance..?
Yes… peels, when done regularly, will help you remove tan, heal your acne faster, works as anti-aging …keeps your skin ever glowing….


Category: Chemical Peels