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What are Chemical Peels?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 10 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Chemical Pell; Neutralising Agent;

Women are now, more than ever, feeling pressured into maintaining a youthful appearance for as long as possible. The market for anti-aging creams, lotions and other products is a multi-million pound business and women are spending hundreds of pounds on products that are not guaranteed to have any effect.

The increase in surgical, laser and chemical procedures has also seen a huge surge in the market and chemical peels fall into this category.

What Exactly Are They?

Chemical peels are a method of rejuvenating the layers of skin and are most often used on the facial area. They can vary in effect and treat different layers if needed. The solution used causes the layers of skin to ‘peel’ away revealing fresher, younger newer skin underneath.

Superficial Peel:

The quickest treatment in the category, a superficial peel requires a solution to be applied to the surface of the skin which is then left on for a few minutes following which it is washed off and another substance is applied to neutralise the effect of the chemical.

Medium Depth Peel:

This will aim to rejuvenate the layer of skin below the surface layer. The solution is applied to the required area and left on for longer. The effect is greater and cooling agents or devices may be needed to calm the effect.

Deep Peel:

This works on all the layers of the skin and the solution is left on for a lot longer causing a lot more pain and discomfort. The use of local anaesthetic and sedation are usually offered for this procedure so recovery can take a lot longer.

What Is Involved In The Procedure?

They all involve the use of a chemical agent that is applied to the skin, let on for a certain length of time and is then removed. It is normal to have a neutralising agent applied and cool compresses to be used.Before any chemical is applied to the skin the area must be thoroughly cleansed an free from grime or make-up.

What To Expect Afterwards

The expectations after a chemical peel are very dependent on the depth of peel used. After a superficial peel the skin can appear red, blotchy and irritated for some hours but will not affect normal activities. This peel will usually need repeating every 1 – 2 months to gain maximum effect.

Following a medium depth peel the skin can discolour and often look grey and lifeless. Stinging is likely that can continue for over an hour. In the days following the peel the skin may shed and reveal new healthy and younger skin beneath.

Not for the faint hearted a deep peel can be very uncomfortable as the solution works on the deepest of the skin layers and is sometimes helpful for reducing wrinkles and scars.It can take several days for the swelling and pain to ease and itching can be severe. As the skin is shed it may hang from the face, do not pull at the skin and let it come off at its own pace.

How Much Are They?

The costs of chemical peels can vary widely from clinic to clinic. A lot depends on the location of the clinic, the expertise of the staff, the product used, the desired effect and the reputation of the establishment.

The costs can range from £50 – £70 for a one off session, around £200 form a course of appointments which involves a medium depth treatment and several thousands of pounds for a deep layer peel that may require a series of appointments.

Chemical peels are a way of reducing scars, fine lines and sometimes skin blemishes. They can be expensive and not have the desired results as sometimes the improvements are very slight. However, in others the results can be extremely satisfying.

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