Chemical Peel Abroad

Using a specially concocted combination of compounds, chemical peels can take a variety of forms but generally involve the removal of the outer layers of skin on the face so that younger, smoother layers below are revealed.

The procedure is therefore a cosmetic operation that is also sometimes used to combat excessive acne when other, less harsh treatments have failed. While chemical peels usually result in smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, they also tend to lighten the shade of the skin given that beneath layers have not been subjected to sunlight.

Procedure information

Chemical peels come in different types, depending on the substances used. Those available include alpha hydroxyl peels, the mildest available, to phenol peels, which go much deeper and can last up to 20 years with often dramatic results. Usually, only one dose is used, which is enough to remove pigmentations in the skin and even pre-cancerous growths. Trichloroacetic peels are less severe in concentrations of under 35 percent, but require pretreatment with AHA or retin-A creams.

Some of the lighter peels can be performed at home without a medical license, but patients keen on the procedure are advised to always enlist the advice and expertise of a professional plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

Recovery time

The duration required for full recovery varies considerably depending on the type of peel used. Light peels may cause stinging, redness and irritation immediately after treatment, but these effects rarely last more than a few days.

Medium peels such as Trichloroacetic treatments usually take several days to heal, but strong sunscreen is a must for months afterwards as the skin is much more exposed.

Those undergoing phenol peels must use ample sun block for the rest of their lives. Healing following such deep peels will often take a few months, a period in which the skin can be vulnerable and sensitive.