How are chemical peels applied?

How are chemical peels applied?

Superficial chemical peels

Superficial peel

  • Your clinician will brush a chemical solution (typically containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid) on to your skin.
  • You may feel slight discomfort in terms of a stinging sensation whilst it’s being administered, however, this is easily managed with a handheld air cooling device.
  • The chemical will then be neutralised and washed off your skin, the skin is generally rinsed a minimum of three times, ensuring that the acid is removed from the corners of the mouth, nose and eyes.
  • The face is then gently dried and if the patient wishes, a mild moisturiser is applied.

Medium chemical peel

Medium peel

  • A doctor will cleanse your face following a certain protocol.
  • The mixture containing the relevant dosages will be applied to the area that needs to be treated and timed for a couple of minutes.
  • The treated area will begin to change to a white or greyish colour.
  • You may feel a slight discomfort in the form of a tingling or stinging feeling. The medium peel is more uncomfortable than a superficial peel and may be painful for some as the chemical solution is stronger and will penetrate deeper into the skin.
  • The solution is then washed away using a cold alkali wrap.
  • The face is then patted dry and a moisturizing ointment is applied.
  • You can expect your skin to change to a slight pinkish or brown medium following the peel.
  • You will notice that the peeling of the skin starts approximately 48 hours after the chemical peel and will last about one week.

Deep chemical peel

Deep peel IV

  • A sedative will be administered to help you relax along with a with a local anaesthetic to numb your face.
  • An ECG monitor to monitor your heart rate may be put in place and you will be given intravenous fluids during the treatment process. This is because phenol is toxic when absorbed by the body in high doses.
  • A step-by-step cleaning process of the face will take place
  • Phenol is brushed onto the area after an appropriate time interval
  • Thereafter water will be applied to neutralise the chemical
  • Finally, ointment will be smoothed over the treated area to ensure that it remains hydrated and pain free.  The ointment should only be washed off as directed.  Some doctors will apply strips of tap or medicated gauze instead.
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