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Chemical peels have become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments performed by aesthetic medical practitioners, skincare therapists and cosmetic dermatologists. Excellent results can be achieved, depending on the ingredients used and the depth of penetration into the skin. Chemical peels are a great tool for treating hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, textured skin, dull or uneven skin tone, acne, oily and pored skin. They can also help to prevent or delay ageing skin changes.
Interestingly chemical peels have been used for millennia. The earliest recorded 'chemical peel' was by Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra who bathed in milk. This progressed to using mild forms of acids derived from fermented milk and grapes. Today, chemical peels have become very popular. They are the third most requested skin treatment in the USA.
We have a range of superficial chemical peels for professional use – sk.in ProPeel.
All of the above changes will settle over 2 to 7 days and the skin will return to its normal appearance.
3. All chemical peel treatments may reactivate or cause a flare-up of:
a. Acne and breakouts.
b. Viral skin infections e.g. herpes simplex. If you have a history of viral infections a course of prophylaxis anti-viral medication may be advised.
4. All chemical peels may cause perioral dermatitis; although not common, it is characterised by an inflammatory rash around the mouth area that may spread to the nose and even the eyes. Treatment should be started as soon as any symptoms develop:
i. Scaly or red bumpy rash around the mouth.
ii. There may be a clear fluid discharge.
iii. Redness and slight itching and burning can also occur.
5. Pigmentary skin changes may occur following the peel treatment and this can include both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Avoiding sun exposure and using an SPF 30 or higher that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide will help to reduce the chances of pigmentary changes. Hyperpigmentation should be recognised early and treated with a mild topical steroid to reduce any inflammatory effect is advised to seek medical attention if this side effect starts to develop following the chemical peel treatment.
6. If superficial chemical peels are left on for too long and/or penetrate too deeply there are some other potential side-effects:
a. Moderate to severe redness and heating of the skin.
b. Blistering and peeling of the skin.
c. Post-inflammatory pigmentary skin changes.
d. Sun sensitivity.
e. Scabbing and scarring of the skin.
f. Risk of infection.
g. Discomfort and uncomfortable sensations of the skin.
i. Sensitivity to other topical ingredients or treatments.