Upon hearing “chemical peeling,” one immediately thinks of Samantha’s character in Sex and the City, bemoaning the devastation the practice causes. However, things have changed in the dermatologist’s office since the 1990s, and you can now get a peel at lunchtime and get back to work without redness, dryness, and irritation.
In the care of Dr. Carlos Charles, it wasn’t the chemical products that had changed so much, but the doctor’s priorities. “Most dermatologists try to avoid deeper ‘peels,’ because of their high risk of complications,” explains Charles. “The best option is a superficial ‘peel’, which can be done in a short time and leaves no marks on the skin. They are actually chemical ‘peels'”, the doctor clarified, “but they require It takes longer to show results, about five months of treatment if we combine it with a retinoid-based lotion,” he added.
What is a chemical “peel”?
The substances used are primarily intended to treat a range of conditions present in the skin such as sunburn, photoaging, expression lines or wrinkles, superficial scars, acne and precancerous lesions. Plus, they reduce discoloration caused by hyperpigmentation or melasma. They work by reducing and controlling damage to the skin and promoting the growth of new, improved-looking skin.
What is the difference between superficial peeling and deep peeling?
A superficial “peel” targets the most visible layers of the epidermis, which are primarily composed of varying levels of glycolic or salicylic acid.
Moderately deep “peels” are mostly performed with trichloroacetic acid, usually at a concentration of 20% to 35%, or in combination with active ingredients such as the “Jessner Peel”, which consists of 70% glycolic acid and solid carbon dioxide with 35% trichloroacetic acid Acetic acid composition. The main advantage of this combination is that greater penetration can be achieved with modest concentrations of TCA, thereby avoiding common adverse effects.
Medium-depth “peels” target the deepest layer of the epidermis and the superficial dermis of the skin. With increased penetration, Peeling is the perfect tool for visibly improving skin texture and reducing hyperpigmentation, freckles, and pre-cancers called actinic keratoses. While these moderate “peels” can hide fine lines and some acne marks, they have no effect on wrinkles and visible expression lines.
To add, the deep “peel” is often composed of phenol, which can damage the deeper layers of the skin or dermis. These aggressive peels can treat photoaging and severe wrinkles, but they also require longer recovery times and carry the highest risk of complications like flaking or hyperpigmentation.
Is “skinning” a safe procedure?
Yes. Although like any other branch of medicine, this treatment must be performed by experienced professionals. There are many factors to consider before undergoing a skin peel, such as hyperpigmentation of the underlying skin, concomitant use of topical medications, potential for skin irritation, active skin conditions, and tendency to scar. People with darker pigmentation should only undergo shallow or medium-depth peels that are not too drastic, and always with proper supervision and preparation.
What is the difference between professional peeling and peeling done at home?
The main difference is the concentration level of each chemical. Since the “peel” provided by the specialized center was developed under the guidance of medical professionals, it can be performed in higher concentrations for better results. Additionally, this treatment can be combined with other topical treatments under prescription to further enhance the effect of the “peel”.
What types of skin may “peel”? How often?
Skin in need of photocorrection due to sun damage, first look, or shrinking pores. These “peels” also contain salicylic acid, which can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. In general, “peels” are performed every 3-4 weeks, for a total of 5 treatments on average.