Which Chemical Peel Is Right for Your Skin?

Chemical peels are non-invasive cosmetic procedures during which chemical solutions are applied to the skin. These solutions remove layers of the skin in order to diminish or eliminate the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage or acne, rough patches, dryness and dullness. There are three types of peels and they affect different layers of the skin. Each is used to achieve varying results and, in order to decide which one is right for your needs, it is important to understand their uses and effects.

The Three Types of Chemical Peels

1. Superficial Peels

The mildest form of peel, superficial peels reach only into the upper levels of the epidermis, or top layer of the skin, and can be used to treat fine lines, acne, dryness and uneven skin tone. As they are so gentle, these peels can be carried out every two to five weeks.

2. Medium Peels

These peels remove cells from the epidermis and the upper level of the dermis, or middle layer of the skin. Doctors recommend medium peels for those who wish a more dramatic change than that offered by superficial peels, as they can improve the look of scars, wrinkles and more serious hyperpigmentation. They can be performed every three to nine months.

3. Deep Peels

Deep peels are the most severe of the three types of peels, removing skin cells from the epidermis down to the middle and lower layer of the dermis. They are used when patients have deeper scars and wrinkles or precancerous cells. As they penetrate the skin so deeply, they can only be used once.

Preparing for Your Peel

Chemical peels can leave your skin looking smoother, brighter and more healthy. In order to achieve the best results, however, there are several things you should do to prepare for your treatment. First, you should avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen for no less than four weeks before the treatment. A week before, avoid bleaching, waxing or using depilatory products. During this period, doctors also recommend ceasing the application of exfoliating scrubs to the area.