A chemical peel is a corrective skin treatment that eliminates the damaged uppermost layers of the skin with a deep exfoliation treatment. Chemical peels are designed to remove the dead and damaged skin so the undamaged skin underneath can be seen.
Chemical peel ingredients can vary based on the specific skin problem or concern they are designed to address. For most patients, glycolic acid is the most effective ingredient for chemical peels. Glycolic acid has smaller molecules than most other alpha hydroxy acids, which means that glycolic acid is better able to penetrate deep into the skin to take fast effect.
Chemical peels with glycolic acid have a variety of major benefits for the skin. Exfoliation is significant with a chemical peel because the top layers of dead and damaged skin are removed completely, leaving behind the new and unblemished skin. Chemical peels are also excellent for resolving skin tone issues. Patients with discolored or blotchy skin will be able to have an even skin tone when the new skin layer is revealed. Chemical peels reduce the appearance of large pores and even eliminate fine lines on the face.
Patients with nearly any skin issue are good candidates for chemical peels using glycolic acid. Sun damage, fine lines, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and even some lesions can be resolved using chemical peels.
The skin peeling process varies according to the type of chemical peel. For example, higher percentage glycolic acid peels have a longer peeling time than the lowest percentage peels. With light peels, peeling time may last for a few days. Medium-strength chemical peels take about a week to finish peeling. The deep-level peels usually have about a two-week peeling time.
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