Chemical Peel – Facts, Benefits and Side Effects


Chemical peeling is the controlled destruction of the top layer of the skin in order to destroy problems like acne, scarring or pigmentation and to get beautiful skin. Chemical peeling is one of the most favored procedures to improve the appearance of the skin because it guarantees surefire results. Chemical peels are categorized on the basis of the chemical used in the peeling and also on the basis of the depth of the skin surface which they can peel. We tell you all about the chemical peel procedure in detail here.


 What do Chemical Peels do?

Chemical Peel

During a chemical peel, a chemical is applied on your skin, which in a controlled manner destroys layers of the skin. This destruction is equivalent to creating a superficial wound on the skin. As a result of the chemical treatment, the layer of the skin that is wounded peels away, taking along with it any acne, scarring and pigmentation plaguing that layer. Once the layer is removed, the skin starts producing fresh cells to replace the lost skin and to heal the wound. The new layer of skin is devoid of any scarring or acne and you get a smooth and beautiful skin.

Should you try microdermabrasion instead of chemical peels? 

What are the types of chemical peel procedures?


The chemical peels are categorized on the basis of the depth of damage that they can cause.

  • Superficial Peels – These peels are among the mildest of the peels. They generally make use of glycolic acid. The glycolic acid is applied on cleaned skin, left for a couple of minutes and subsequently neutralised after which it is wiped off. The peels help remove acne scars, fine lines and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
  • Medium Peels – These penetrate deeper than superficial peels and reach the dermis. Medium peels normally use tricholoroacetic acid or TCA. The procedure is similar to superficial peels, only that it lasts longer and is helpful in the case of pigmented skin, scars and pimples.
  • Deep Peels – Deep peels make use of the strongest chemicals like phenols. It is a complex procedure performed under sedation. The skin is subjected to the chemical area by area with breaks in between. After the treatment, the skin is wrapped in tape or gauze. You would need a maximum of two weeks to recover from a deep peel during which your day to day activities will be limited. You would have to avoid sun exposure for 6 months after which you see a remarkable improvement in your skin. They are very effective in the case of lesions, growths and deep set wrinkles.

Benefits of Peeling – What can chemical peels treat? 

The chemical peels can treat a variety of skin conditions depending on the chemicals used and the depth that they reach. The skin conditions that can be treated are:

  • Acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Pigmentation and freckles
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Rough skin

Deep peels can cause a dramatic improvement in your skin since performing a deep peel is akin to a surgery. A person who has had a deep peel once cannot get any more done.

Chemical Peel Before & After

Side Effects of Chemical Peels 

Chemical peels can cause an irritation and a burning sensation in the skin when they are applied on the skin. They should not be left of the skin for too long since they are capable of burning the skin. Chemical peels can also cause a temporary change in the color of your skin since your older skin is removed during the peel.

Read more about the different kinds of chemical peels here

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About the author

Aparna Anand

After a stint in an MNC in Bangalore, Aparna has now started doing what she loves the most- writing. Travelling and cooking come a close second and third. She lives in Mumbai with her husband.