There are 3 different types of the chemical peel procedure that you can choose; superficial chemical peel, medium-depth chemical peel or a Deep chemical peel. Your choice should be made according to the condition of your skin currently.
Superficial chemical peel
A superficial chemical peel is a fast, simple procedure; then face is cleaned and the chemical peel formula is painted on and left for two to ten minutes. Mild tingling may occur during the time that you have the peel on, this is normal, however should it become uncomfortable you should inform the nurse. After the required time the chemical peel is then washed off.
After a chemical peel the skin will look pink and may show faint pale blotches, these will fade in one or two hours. You can go straight back to normal daily life as there are no after-effects from the superficial chemical peel procedure.
For the best long term results you should repeat the treatment weekly for 4 to 6 weeks, and maintain with a monthly peel there after.
Medium-depth chemical peel
For a mid depth chemical peel, again, the skin is cleaned and chemical peel formula applied evenly to the face. With in 5 – 10 minutes the treated area will turn whitish grey. Saline compresses are then applied to neutralise the acid in the peel and cool the face. Be prepared as the face may swell when the peel is put on, and a burning feeling can last for up to an hour after the chemical peel treatment.
Recovery from a mid depth chemical peel will take about a week, maybe a little more, depending on your skin; older skin will heal a little more slowly. You may notice skin discolouration after five to six days, turning the skin a dark brown, with white streaks. Your skin will be red, itch and begin to peel, similar to bad sunburn, however over 3 – 5 weeks your skin will fade to a clear fresh pink.
Repeat the chemical peel treatment monthly until you achieve the desired results, and then maintain it with a peel every 6-12 months.
Deep chemical peel
For a Deep chemical peel, a local anesthetic is required to numb the face. Sedation is also an option for this procedure. The skin is cleansed and a strong chemical peel formula is applied and left on for around 30 minutes before being removed.
Patients can feel ill after a deep chemical peel, and may experience moderate to severe pain lasting many days. The face swells in the first two days and it can be very itchy during the peeling and healing process. The face will be very red and may ooze a little fluid after the deep chemical peel treatment and it will take around two weeks before the face is healed enough that you may want to venture outdoors.
One deep chemical peel treatment can give remarkable results and the effects last for a decade.
Chemical peels probably won't be recommended if you have very sensitive skin, facial warts, asian skin or if you have very pale, freckly skin.
Also see out Laser skin resurfacing page