If you suffer from pigmentation – be it blemishes, acne scars, patches on the skin that appear with age, melasma or skin darkening due to sun exposure, then a surefire treatment for all these skin troubles is a chemical peel. A chemical peel improves the tone and texture of your skin by using a chemical that will slough off the top layers of your skin that is pigmented and causes regeneration of skin that is smoother and not pigmented. Let’s see what are the chemical peel treatments that are available and what each kind of peel entails.
How does a chemical peel work while treating pigmentation?
A chemical peel induces a controlled wound on the skin. Depending on the extent of pigmentation, your skin tone, the kind of results you want and the downtime you can tolerate, the depth of the peel varies. When your skin gets wounded, it produces more skin cells to repair the damage. The regenerated skin is free from pigmentation and acne scars. More the depth of the peel, greater the downtime and better the improvement in the skin.
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What are the different types of chemical peels?
Chemical Peels are classified based on how potent they are – superficial, medium and deep peels. The superficial peels use mild chemicals like alpha or beta hydroxy acids. They remove the dead skin cells from the top of the skin surface. A medium peel uses slightly stronger trichloroacetic acid which will help reach the upper layer of the dermis. A deep peel uses a strong chemical like phenol to reach the dermis and address significant skin pigmentation. Superficial and medium peels do not need anesthesia. Deep peels would need anesthesia and bandaging the peeled areas. Superficial peels need a week to heal while medium peels take one to two weeks. Deep peels need ample follow up care, two weeks of anti viral medication, three months of recovery period and six months of sun exposure avoidance.
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What is the Cost of each kind of peel?
Each superficial peel sitting could cost you $150 to $300 and it needs to be done 3-5 times for optimal results. A medium peel would have to be done twice and costs $1000-2000 per sitting. A deep peel can be done only once and can cost you upto $5000.
Which Chemical Peel Treatment must your choose for pigmentation?
- Superficial Peel – Glycolic Acid Peel – This peel is an alpha hydroxy acid peel. It is a mild peel that will help you remove dark spots and freckles. A peel with a small percentage of glycolic acid does not have much of a downtime and can help you if you have faint to mild pigmentation.
- Superficial Peel – Lactic Acid – This is another alpha hydroxy acid peel derived from milk. This peel is more effective than glycolic acid peel for hyperpigmentation.
- Superficial Peel – Enzyme Peel – If you have very sensitive skin and yet want to experiment with peels, then an enzyme peel made from fruit extracts is an option for you. However, its effectiveness is very less when compared to other superficial peels.
- Medium Peel -TCA Peel – TCA or tricholoroacetic acid peel is a medium peel that is good for repairing sun damage, removing hyperpigmentation and acne scars. It is a strong acid which literally peels off the top layer of the skin and the treatment has a downtime lasting upto 10 days.
- Deep Peel – Phenol Peel – This is a deep peel which uses one of the strongest peeling agents- phenol. The peel is very effective in removing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin discolorations, skin growths and acne scars. It has a recovery time lasting upto three months during which the skin might turn red, get swollen and peel off.
Depending on the extent of your hyperpigmentation, your budget and the extent of pain and downtime you are willing to experience, you could choose one of these chemical peel treatments for hyperpigmentation.
Also Read – Can Glycolic Acid Peels Treat Acne Scars? Here