A chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. Facial skin is mostly treated, and the body and scarring can be improved. Chemical peels are intended to remove the outermost layers of the skin. To accomplish this task, the chosen peel solution induces a controlled injury to the skin. Resulting wound healing processes begin to regenerate new tissues. The dead skin eventually peels off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

There are several types of chemical peels.


Alpha hydroxy acid peels

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne.

AHA peels may cause stinging, skin redness, mild skin irritation, and dryness.

Beta hydroxy acid peels

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It is antibacterial and anti inflammatory and, as a result, works well for acne.

Retinoic acid peel

It  is a deeper peel than the beta hydroxy acid peel and is used to reduce scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation problems. The peeling process takes place on the third day, require multiple peels.

Phenol peel

It is deep chemical peel, which causes an intense exfoliating reaction in the skin, and eventually results in regeneration of the dermal architecture, effectively restoring younger dermis.

Complication of Chemical Peels

The deeper the peel, the more complications that can arise. Peels should be administered by certified Dermatologists Possible complications include photosensitivity, prolonged erythema, pigmentary changes.

Light chemical peels like AHA and glycolic acid peels have minimal discomfort  the patient feels only a slight stinging when the solution is applied. Medium peels such as trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can cause more discomfort. Phenol used to be a deep chemical peel.