A chemical skin treatment lets you peel back the years without the need for invasive surgery
If your skin is starting to show signs of age, you might think your only option is a facelift. However, it’s well worth considering a deep peel before signing up for surgery.
Developments in peeling treatments mean even deep lines and wrinkles can be effectively treated. In addition, the appearance of skin pigmentation, scars and blemishes can all be improved.
Not only is peeling less invasive than a facelift, it’s also significantly cheaper. Book a free consultation with Ocean Clinic Marbella to find out if a chemical peel could achieve the results you’re looking for.
What is a peel?
A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing technique, which involves stripping away layers of old skin to make way for new cells. The process is similar to a snake shedding its skin to reveal a bright, new appearance.
There are different types and strengths of peels, ranging “superficial peels”, which remove only the very top layers of skin, through to “deep peels”, which penetrate deep into the skin and work on deeper winkles.
How does it work?
A chemical solution, containing alpha hydroxy acids, tricholoracetic acid (TCA) or phenol, is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. The solution reacts with the epidermis, breaking it down in a controlled way.
Peel "depth" or the number of skin layers removed, is determined by both solution ingredients and concentration.
Skin is prepared for treatment by the application of special cream for 4-6 weeks beforehand. This is done at home, by the patient.
What areas/problems can be treated?
Peeling can be applied to the whole face or concentrated on one area. Peeling can be used to treat:
· Sun damage
· Wrinkles around the mouth including “smokers lines” above the upper lip
· “Crowsfeet” wrinkling around the eyes
· Fine wrinkling of the upper eyelids
· Keratosis pilaris “chicken skin”
· Acne scars
· Age spots
· Some pre-cancerous skin growths
The characteristics of your skin, such as its colour, thickness and texture, may influence whether you are a good candidate for a chemical peel.
Does it hurt?
For a light or medium depth peel a numbing cream will be applied to the skin, but patients may experience a mild burning sensation while the treatment is being administered.
For a deep peel a short anaesthesia or deep sedation is necessary and the patient generally stays 24 hours in the clinic.
Some discomfort may be experienced afterwards but can be controlled with painkillers.
What is the recovery time?
Facial peeling is a non-surgical, minimal-invasive treatment and is performed mostly on an out patient basis, except for full face phenol peels (deep peels).
A full-face deep chemical peel takes 1 hour to perform. A more limited procedure (such as treatment of wrinkling above the lip) will generally take less than a half-hour.
After a deep peel a powder mask is applied to protect the skin while it regenerates. This is worn for 1 week, so patients normally take this period off work.
Superficial or medium depth peels only require a daily application of creams for the period of one month, and the skin normally peels after 6-8 days.
How soon will I see results?
Although skin will look very red, results are visible immediately after the peel; skin appears smoother and unlined.
As the redness subsides over the following 6-8 weeks, it will give way to soft, blemish-free skin and a radiant glow.
Make-up can be applied immediately after the powder mask has come off (1 week), and patients can expose their skin to the sun, providing they protect themselves with factor 50 SPF sun cream at all times.
Are there any side effects?
Skin resurfacing procedures are generally safe when performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon, however certain skin types may present contraindications, so a thorough consultation is essential.
Potential risks include unanticipated skin colour changes or skin blotchiness, infection, allergic reaction and scarring. In addition, chemical peeling could trigger an eruption in patients prone to herpes.
How long will the results last?
Although chemical peeling can turn back the clock, it cannot stop time. Your new skin will continue to age, but results can be maintained as long as possible through avoiding sun exposure and other skin aging activities such as smoking and drinking.
Well cared for skin can enjoy an enhanced appearance for as long as 10 years post a deep peel. At this point, you may choose to undergo another facial peel. Lighter peels will lose their efficacy more quickly, but can be repeated more frequently.