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January 10, 2011

Chemical Peels

Are chemical solutions that are used to slough off and peel off the damaged outer layer to improve and smooth the texture of facial skin. Chemical peels can be used for facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation. It can also be used to remove precancerous skin growth and soften and reduce acne scaring. Chemical peels are most commonly performed for cosmetic purposes.

Formulas used as chemical peels include Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol.

Alphahydroxy acids: such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and fruit acid, are considered as light chemical peels that may be used to treat areas of dryness, fine wrinkling, pigmentation which is uneven and acne.

Trichloroacetic acid: can be used in many concentrations. It's used as an intermediate to deep peeling agent, it may be used for treating superficial blemishes, fine surface wrinkles and skin pigmentation problems. TCA is preferred for darker skin patients; it can be used on the neck or other areas of the body and may require treatment with AHA or Retin-A cream.

Phenol: it's used to produce deep chemical peels; it is the strongest among the chemical solutions and its effect is long lasting. It should only be used for facial peels. It is used for the treatment of blotches caused by sun exposure or aging, precancerous growth and coarse facial wrinkles. Phenol effect is long lasting. Phenol peels may take several months to heal and may cause permanent lightning of the skin.

Complications of chemical peels:

Possible complications of chemical peels may include swelling, infection, burns, scarring, cold sore outbreaks and skin pigment change.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.