What Is Chemical Peel - Know Benefit, Procedure And Side Effects

Chemical Peel – Benefits, Procedure And Side Effects

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Chemical peeling is a standardized procedure to even out skin texture and also improve its appearance. The process removes the upper damaged layers of dead skin, giving you smooth, rejuvenated and nourished skin thus helping  your beauty and self-confidence.

What Is Chemical Peel?

Chemical peeling is also known as chemexfoliation or derma peel. It is a controlled skin resurfacing procedure which uses varying strengths of plant extract based acids. This chemical agent causes the controlled removal of the upper layers of damaged skin. These peels vary in the level of strength, from superficial peels that use mild acids to deeper ones that penetrate several micro layers of skin, depending upon the desired results. Dermatologists suggest skin peel treatment for the following conditions:

  • Pimple, acne scars, dark marks and open pores
  • Pigmentation – sun tan, melasma, freckles
  • Facial blemishes
  • Sun damage
  • Aging spots and wrinkles
  • Dark circles

Also Read: Types Of Chemical Peel Treatments Available In India

Benefits Of Chemical Skin Peeling

The process of skin peeling exfoliates the top layers of skin and removes the dull and damaged layers. Overall, a chemical peel offers the following benefits –

  • Controls breakouts due to excess sebum and dirt
  • Reduces inflammation (red and swollen appearance)
  • Removes dead cells from the skin’s surface
  • Smoothens out the skin’s texture
  • Removes dark skin and improves complexion
  • Makes skin firm and toned by stimulating collagen and elastin production
  • Diminishes the appearance of large pores
  • Corrects post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
  • Effective on dark spot and discoloration of skin
  • Takes care of ridges and creases on the skin that form due to aging
  • Deformed and uneven skin
  • Treats darkened skin around the eyes
  • Helps control rosacea

Things To Know About Chemical Peel Treatment

➤ Anyone over the age of 15 is eligible.
➤ Works on all Indian skin types (i.e. oily, dry, combination).
➤ Facial peels are popular but peeling can be done on other body areas.
➤ Dermatologists select the type and strength of the peel after evaluating your skin.
➤ The procedure is done by a therapist under the supervision of a dermatologist.
➤ The procedure is painless though some people experience mild stinging and rigid skin.
➤ 6-8 sessions of peeling is administered to see measurable results.
➤ The best effects are visible after 2 weeks of treatment with results showing right after the treatment.
➤ It is a safe procedure with minimum side-effects.

Chemical Peeling Treatment Procedure

The chemical peel procedure can be divided into 3 parts broadly; beginning with before the procedure basics, during and after the procedure precautions.

Preparatory Procedure(Before) –

  1. A chemical peel is an office procedure which is done in an outpatient facility at a skin clinic.
  2. It is extremely important to state your health conditions and medical history in the initial consultation with your dermatologist prior to commencing the treatment.
  3. A date for a patch test is fixed prior to the chemical peel session.
  4. A priming process as suggested by your dermatologist must be followed at least 2 weeks prior to applying peel.
  5. Stop retinoids, glow creams, AHA’s and other chemical based creams at least 3 days before the scheduled peel treatment.
  6. Moisturizers and sunscreens can be used, but your dermatologist would determine the optimal pick for your skin type.

Also Read: Importance Of Skin Patch Test For Chemical Peels

Chemical Peel Treatment Session (During The Procedure) –

  1. The first step is to prep the skin and clean it from any grime or dirt. Using a mild cleanser, the therapist  wipes the skin clean. The chemical or acids to be applied is then taken out in the required concentration determined by the dermatologist.
  2. To protect the areas surrounding the eyes and nose a small amount of petroleum jelly or thick gel formulation is applied  at the corners with the help of a Q tip. This prevents any chemical from entering any sensitive areas.
  3. Using a specialized brush, the chemical peel mix is applied gently all over the skin.
  4. The eyes are covered with a cotton dipped in water.
  5. A mild tingling sensation may be felt, but if you experience anything unusual, you must immediately inform your dermatologist.
  6. After the predetermined time, the therapist/ dermatologist uses a cotton pad to remove the peel from the face.
  7. Immediately a cold compress is done to prevent any rashes or burning sensations, along with a hand-held fan being held over the area treated with the chemical peel
  8. A neutralizing solution is also be applied for sensitive skin types.
  9. Post neutralizing, a moisturizer and sun screen is applied.

Post Care Instructions After Skin Peeling

  1. Just after the procedure the dermatologist provides a prescription and guidelines which must be adhered to.
  2. Sometimes the skin maybe sensitive, red and mildly irritated post the chemical peel so the dermatologist would apply petroleum jelly to soothe this temporary condition of the skin.
  3. Over the counter anti-inflammatories may also be prescribed for some cases.

Also Read: Cost of chemical peel procedure in India

Side Effects Of Chemical Skin Peels

Anyone who goes through a chemical peeling session might experience mild stinging, redness, and peeling of the skin. The side effects are a result of the peels’ chemical action, which removes the upper layer of the skin to surface a newer and fresher skin –

  • Scarring on the skin
  • Frosting
  • Redness and sensitiveness of skin, soon after the peel which may last for a few weeks to months
  • Infections like herpes virus, which are very rare though
  • Discoloration of the skin; hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of skin) in some people
  • Deep chemical peels may even cause damage to heart muscle
  • Phenol may cause damage to kidney and liver but in extremely rare conditions.

How To Control The Side-effects Of Chemical Peeling Treatment?

Some of these steps include:

  1. Neutralization – It is very important to neutralize chemical peels as they use acidic solutions which may penetrate deeper into the skin if not contained. As acids have a very low pH level, it must be neutralized with an alkaline solution. It must be applied in the same sequence as that of a chemical peel, avoiding the eyes and nose.
  2. Cold compress – Ice cold water must be used on the area treated by the chemical peel. As soon as the treatment is over, the therapist will dip a clean towel in the water and squeeze, then apply it on the face and keep it covered for an effective cold compress which would prevent any burning sensations and irritation of the skin
  3. Frosting medications – Topical cream (Fucibet) should be applied for mild frosting post the treatment. For more severe cases of frosting, prescription of creams, antibiotics, and other drugs might be given by the dermatologist.

Who shouldn’t get a chemical peel?

There are certain contraindications for chemical peel which include –

  1. People under 15 years of age
  2. Pregnant and lactating mothers
  3. Hypersensitivity to aspirin
  4. Significant erythema during patch test
  5. Active infections on the skin
  6. Open injuries or wounds
  7. Pre-existing contact dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin conditions

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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