Chemical peeling is a method to minimize the effects of ageing by improving lines and wrinkles over the forehead, around the eyelids and cheeks, and around the mouth. It can be performed as an isolated procedure or in conjunction with other facial plastic surgery and can be used to improve a variety of skin conditions including wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, acne scars, sun-damaged skin, age spots and freckling.
A chemical peel uses a solution applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the production of new skin cells. It tightens the skin, reduces wrinkling and restores a more youthful appearance.
Several chemical solutions exist that can peel away skin from the superficial, medium, or deep layers. The solution is applied to the skin and patients usually note a burning sensation similar to sunburn after the procedure. For deeper peels, some patients require anaesthesia. Light peels result in some redness to the skin followed by scaling that lasts about 4 days while medium to deep peels can result in swelling and blisters that break open, forming a crust.
When deep peels are used, the skin will have the colour of a severe sunburn that will gradually fade to light pink over the next several weeks. This can be camouflaged quite well with make-up. Frequent cleaning and application of an ointment will help moisten the face and facilitate the healing process.
Exposure to the sun for extended periods without sunscreen is not recommended for 4 to 6 months after the treatment because the sun may alter the pigmentation of the skin.