A chemical peel is a specialized treatment that was once the rare tool of dermatologists, used to treat troublesome cases of rosacea or adult acne. Today, the chemical peel is touted as more of a specialized spa treatment. If you have never experienced a true chemical peel, it might be difficult to understand exactly what it means for your skin.
The Medical Chemical Peel
On the recommendation of your doctor, a dermatologist conducts a chemical peel in the space of an afternoon. After thoroughly washing the surface of the skin on the face, an ingredient like glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid is applied. These ingredients have their ph level strong enough to burn the outer layer of the epidermis. The outer layer of skin will blister, and peel.
Quite literally, a chemical peel is the use of chemicals to cause your skin to peel away.
The reason this is done is to allow your skin to get an entirely fresh start. The new skin that replaces the blisters will be softer, fresher, and free of impurities that the old skin was subject to. Great symptom relief has been seen by many sufferers of harsh skin conditions.
However, the popularity of these treatments is not something we should be caught up in. This medically supervised treatment is not something we should look to as a panacea for every little skin issue. The treatment is known as a “controlled wound”.
Chemical Peel Today
Today, people can purchase their own chemical peels at popular health and beauty stores. Sales people will rave about the restorative effects. Obviously, the strength of these products need to be toned down in order to keep them safe for the public, but the ingredients of glycolic, lactic, and carbolic acid will still be listed on the label. The tingling sensation you get when you use such products may lead you to believe that they are doing real work, but what you are actually experiencing is a skin irritation from the acidic ingredients that are not strong enough to blister the skin. These products will not give you the same result, and will likely lead to aggravated skin care problems.
A Chemical Peel Does Not Typically Treat the Problem
Many skin problems have internal contributing factors like kidney or liver dysfunctions brought on by dietary issues or other environmental aggravations. While clogged pores or excess dead skin tissues can be corrected with a peel, the original problems that caused these symptoms will not necessarily disappear.
Under the right supervision, a chemical peel treatment may help some, but it is certainly not for everyone.