Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a solution which is applied to the face in order to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new ones. The end goal here is to improve the look of the skin by replacing dead, old skin cells with new, soft, and smooth ones. It reduces age spots, evens out skin discolouration and can give the skin that healthy ‘glow’ that everyone is always seeking.

3 Types of Peel

There are three types of chemical peel available in the UK. These are:

  • Superficial peel, where the skin is removed from the top layer. With this treatment, you usually need to have it regular to maintain the appearance.
  • Medium peel, where the skin is removed from the top and middle layers of skin. The effects of this last longer – up to a year, but the recovery time is longer. Your skin may take 6 weeks to return to its normal state.
  • Deep peel, this targets the deepest layers of skin, and is often done using a local anaesthetic to numb the area. This treatment is for much more serious skin problems, as it’s usually a one-off treatment and the recovery time can be up to 3 months.

What peel you choose will depend on what problems you want help with. Most people find they only need a superficial peel to brighten their skin, and this is what most doctors would recommend, as the risks increase with each type of peel.

What are the risks of a chemical peel?

With any procedure – non-invasive or not – there is a certain amount of risk. With a chemical peel, the risks are fairly low, but still worth noting.

Chemical peels can cause the skin to lighten or darken. This can either be a short-term side effect or it can be permanent. The deeper your chemical peel goes, the higher the chance of your skin changing colour.

If you’ve had cold sores in the past, a chemical peel can increase the chances of this returning. This is because the skin is essentially brand new and doesn’t fight off the virus causing cold sores as well as older skin.

Scarring and infection can occur – although this is highly unlikely and usually only happens with a deep chemical peel. This is because the chemicals are affecting the deeper layers of tissue meaning there is a higher chance of it affecting other things like blood vessels.

Should I have a chemical peel?

Before choosing any kind of cosmetic procedure you need to be sure that it’s really what you want. Not many procedures can be reversed and the risk of something going wrong is significantly higher if you’ve already had work done.

When thinking about a chemical peel, make sure you go to a trusted and well-respected doctor who is properly qualified to perform these treatments. Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience and qualifications, as well as what chemical peel they would recommend for you. They are the expert and will be able to recommend the right kind for your skin, with the least impact on your life.