We know: All About Face Peels

What's a face peel?

A face peel uses a chemical solution applied to your skin to form flakes or blisters that eventually peel off. The process regenerates the skin, often making it smoother (from acne or other scarring) and with fewer wrinkles.

The procedure is sometimes used on other parts of the body, including the neck and hands.

Where do people get face or chemical peels?

Many dermatologists, health spas, and salons perform the procedure. There are also products available that you can use yourself.

What kinds of conditions can chemical peels help?

Peels are often used to treat:

  • Acne
  • Aging skin
  • Dull, weathered skin
  • Excessive sebatic oils
  • Post acne scarring
  • Excessive, stubborn blackheads and whiteheads
  • Freckling
  • Blotchy pigmentation
  • Stretch Marks
  • Sun spots (actinic sun damage)
  • Dark skin discoloration
  • Wrinkles
  • Scarring (non-keloidal scars)

What kind of skin peels are there?

There are light peels and then deeper skin peels:

  • Light skin peels use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), glycolic acid and Retin-A work to freshen and exfoliate the skin by removing dead cells in order to produce new cell growth. You can buy these mild concentration solutions over the counter.
  • Deeper skin peels often use TCA (tricholracetic acid) for a stronger treatment.. This type of peel goes deeper and can make the skin look tighter and smoother.

How do skin peels work?

The peel usually begins by cleaning the skin of excess oils. Then a chemical solution or solutions is applied to areas of the skin where there is damage, producing a warm sensation on the skin, usually followed by stinging. Some deeper treatments are more painful and may require medication.

The result of most chemical peels is a reddening of the skin, like with sunburn, where the skin eventually flakes off over the next 3-7 days. Blisters may result from deeper chemical peels and take from one to two weeks to heal. Sometimes skin needs to be bandaged after a peel. Usually, you must avoid too much sunlight while a peel is healing.

The new, regenerated skin that appears following a peel is often smoother.

How much do chemical peels cost?

Do-it-yourself treatments are in the $25 to $100 range, while professional treatments can range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the procedure, and who performs it.

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