Chemical Peels: Which Peel Strength Is Right for You?

When you are considering using a chemical peel to improve your skin or treat a certain condition that you are suffering from, you should keep in mind that these chemical peels come with varying acid strengths. Each acid strength is designed to treat different types of conditions. If you want your chemical peel treatment to be successful, it’s important that you choose an acid strength that will help to provide you with the results that you’re looking for. These chemical peels can be applied to the face, neck, or hands. This treatment is designed to rejuvenate your skin by peeling away old skin, which can be beneficial for a wide array of conditions.

When You Should Use a Chemical Peel

Chemical peels can treat a wide array of different conditions, from acne scars to wrinkles. Although you should use different acid strengths for different conditions, it’s first important that you ascertain whether or not this type of treatment is right for you. If you suffer from aging or sagging skin around your face or neck, a chemical peel may be able to reduce these issues and help rejuvenate your skin. Some of the additional conditions that can be treated with a chemical peel include hyperpigmentation, scars, skin that has been damaged by the sun, and crow’s feet.

If you are experiencing any of these issues and believe that a chemical peel would help to rid you of these conditions, make sure that you schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon so that they can advise you on which treatment option can work best with your skin.

Who Shouldn’t Use a Chemical Peel

Although chemical peels can be used by practically anyone, there are certain circumstances wherein you may not want to use a peel. If you are suffering from an infection, broken skin, or any type of skin disease, it’s recommended that you don’t use a chemical peel until these conditions have been effectively treated. In the event that you are affected by such conditions as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, a chemical peel could cause adverse side effects.

Mild Acid Strength

Once you’ve decided that you would like to use a chemical peel to treat a specific skin condition, the next step you want to take is deciding which acid strength that you should use. Chemical peels that come with a mild acid strength are commonly referred to as superficial peels. These peels commonly make use of alpha-hydroxy acid as a means of simply getting into the outer layer of your skin in order to exfoliate it. The primary conditions that these peels can be used for include improving small amounts of skin discoloration and helping to smooth out rough skin. If all you need is to have your skin rejuvenated and refreshed, this acid strength should be right for you.

Moderate Acid Strength

Peels that come with a moderate acid strength are regularly referred to as medium peels. These peels can use either trichloroacetic or glycolic acid as a means of penetrating both the middle and outer layers of your skin. Because of the slightly higher intensity that this type of chemical peel provides in comparison to the mild acid strength peels, they can be used in the treatment of a variety of conditions that include freckles, age spots, wrinkles, and large amounts of skin discoloration. Some skin growths that are considered to be precancerous can also be treated with peels that offer a moderate acid strength.

High Acid Strength

The chemical peels that make use of a high acid strength are known as deep peels. These peels use either phenol or trichloroacetic acid in order to penetrate the deepest layers of the skin. Due to the high strength of this type of acid, these peels can be used to remove skin cells that have become damaged, making the peels beneficial in the treatment of a large amount of different conditions. This specific treatment can help with the removal of deep wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. They can also remove mild to moderate scars if applied properly. Chemical peels with high acid strength are designed to be used only one time, which means that you need to be certain about the treatment area before going forward with this chemical peel.

Complications Associated With a Chemical Peel

While chemical peels are widely regarded as being perfectly safe forms of plastic surgery, they do come with several possible complications that you should be aware of. It’s possible for your skin color to be either temporarily or permanently changed as the result of a chemical peel. This is especially true for women who are taking birth control pills. If you have suffered from cold sores in the past, these sores could be reactivated by the chemical peel even though this particular complication is rare. Certain amounts of scarring may also occur following the completion of chemical peel treatment.

If you experience any scarring, a scar revision surgery may be applicable. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you about the potential complications of the treatment.

Recovery From Chemical Peel Treatment

A certain amount of follow-up care is usually required following chemical peel treatments. The extent of the care depends on the acid strength of the peels. If you used a mild peel for your treatment, your skin should take anywhere from a day to a week to heal properly. Sunscreen should be worn throughout the healing process. For moderate acid strength, the recovery time can be anywhere from 1-2 weeks. Your skin will likely be red and somewhat swollen during this time. Your skin will need to be soaked daily. For high strength peels, recovery time is around 2-4 weeks. The treatment area will need to be soaked several times per day and should be bandaged during the recovery process. Your surgeon should provide you with follow-up care guidelines.

The Glasgold Group are plastic surgeons who have a focus on facial plastic surgery. They are board certified and can perform an array of different plastic surgery procedures, from eyelid surgery to facelifts.