Chemical Peel

Written by Serena Berger
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There are three types of chemical peels which have many women and men heading to doctors for. A chemical peel customizes one of these three basic types of solutions to improve and smooth the texture of facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. If you have facial blemishes, wrinkles, or uneven skin pigmentation (especially from sun damage), you may be thinking about getting a chemical peel.

The Three Types of Chemical Peels

The three types of peels (in decreasing order of severity and strength) are phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acid (AHA). A phenol peel is a rather risky procedure to undergo, and people typically choose this option only if they have coarse wrinkles, pre-cancerous growths, or serious discoloration. This is a very strong solution, and you will be out of work for about two weeks and then continuing to heal with visible results and discomfort for months. You will essentially have lost the entire outer layer of your facial skin, and when skin starts to grow back, it will be permanently lighter and more sensitive to the sun.

TCA is used on finer surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and some pigment problems. Recovery is shorter than with the phenol peel, but results are correspondingly less dramatic. Many people who have gone for a TCA peel will go back for a couple of follow-up peels before they feel that their skin is as smooth and evenly colored as they would like it to be.

AHA peels are much less drastic. They are used to make your skin look brighter and feel smoother, but they really only treat very fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, or mild acne or discoloration. In fact, most people find that if AHA is all they need, they can get a milder form of it in a cleanser or moisturizer and use it daily as opposed to going in for a chemical peel.


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