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Skin Care and Chemical Peels

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Skin Care and Medical Chemical Peels

Skin Care and Medical Peel Treatments

Chemical peels are a way of deeply exfoliating the skin. They typically contain acids of varying strengths and types which remove the sun-damaged, thicker, outer layers of dead skin.

 

Dr Wafaa is qualified in both cosmetic dermatology and clinical dermatology and is passionate about skincare. She can provide you with a thorough assessment and examination of your skin to understand the problem and issues that you face with your skin.

 

The consultation will include a full review of your skincare routine, and even sometimes goes beyond that and review your daily dietary and exercise routine( all related ha!).

 

Then she might propose to you a complete comprehensive range of skincare treatment appropriate to your skin type and condition or sometimes propose to you a more in-depth procedure to get rid of any problem you might have.

What Types of Chemical Peel Are There?

There are three broad types of chemical peel:

 

Superficial Peel: which remove part of the outer, epidermal layer of skin.

Medium Depth Peel: which remove the whole epidermal layer and reach the upper dermal layers.

Deep Peel: which remove the epidermal, upper dermal and can reach the deep dermal layers.

 

The depth of the peel depends on the strength and type of acid used. Only medically qualified practitioners should administer the more concentrated, deeper, more effective acid peels.

 

Chemical peels can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, sun damage and acne scarring, resulting in smoother, more even skin. They do this in part by removing superficially damaged skin, but also by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers.

Superfical Chemical Skin Peels

Superficial Peels

Superficial chemical peels are the mildest of the peels, they remove the outermost layer of the epidermis. They are mild enough to be used as part of a monthly skincare regime to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and age spots and can help even out the texture and tone of your skin.

 

During a superficial chemical peel, acids are used to create an intentional, controlled injury to specific skin depth. The acid breaks the chemical bonds which hold the skin cells together, causing them to peel off. Superficial peels remove all, or part of, the epidermis.

The aim is to deeply exfoliate the skin, which in turn, stimulates new epidermal growth and collagen production, with more evenly distributed melanin. The new skin that grows has improved surface texture and appearance.

 

Acids commonly used for superficial peels include lactic acid, glycolic acid, tartaric acid and salicylic acid. With the exception of salicylic acid (commonly used for acne treatments), these are known as the fruit acid peels. An example of this peel available in our Clinic Obagi Radiance Blue peel.

Medium-depth Peels

During medium-depth chemical peels, acids are used to create an intentional, controlled injury to specific skin depth.

 

The acid breaks the chemical bonds which hold the skin cells together, causing them to peel off. The acids used in medium-depth peels are able to penetrate the epidermis and a proportion of the dermis.

 

The aim is to deeply exfoliate the skin which, in turn, stimulates new epidermal and dermal growth, increased collagen production and more evenly distributed melanin. The new skin that grows has improved surface texture and appearance.

 

Medium -depth peels are usually carried out using trichloroacetic acid (TCA) at concentrations between 35% and 50%. Other acids are sometimes used, including glycolic, pyruvic and salicylic acid, as well as Jessner’s solution, which is a combination of acids.

 

Phenol is typically used in deeper peels but may be found in small quantities in medium-depth peels.

Best Results

2-4 treatments dependant on depth

Duration of Results

Up to 12 weeks

Procedure Time

30 minutes

Aesthetic Practitioner

Medically qualified GMC registered doctor

Anaesthesia

None or calming medication before treatment

Recovery

Light skin peels – Immediate recovery
Medium-depth – 7-10 days

Back to Work

Dependant on peel – may require up to 10 days

Risks and Complications

Low to medium

Price

Enquire for prices

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are Chemical Peels Good For?

Superficial Peels

Superficial chemical peels are safe and effective for all skin types and tones. If you have uneven skin, blemishes, fine lines, sun-damaged and blemished skin, a superficial chemical peel may help.

 

They can be used anywhere on the face, neck and body, and while they are most commonly used on the face, they are also a good option for those prone to acne on their chest and back.

 

They are used to:

  • Smooth skin
  • Reduce blemishes
  • Reduce pigmentation
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Improve the appearance of age spots

Reduce the appearance of acne scarring

 

Medium Peels

 

Medium-depth chemical peels are effective on all skin types and tones. A more aggressive treatment than superficial chemical peels, they are used to improve the appearance of uneven skin, fine lines, acne scarring and sun-damaged skin.

 

Medium-depth chemical peels can be used the face, neck and most places of the body, but are most commonly used on the face and backs of hands.

 

It’s important to note that the skin on different areas of the body will react differently to the same peel, so a practitioner may advise different peels for different areas.

 

In general, they are used to:

  • Smooth skin
  • Reduce blemishes
  • Reduce pigmentation
  • Reduce fine lines
  • Improve the appearance of age spots
  • Reduce acne scarring

Obviously, the deeper the peel, the more impressive and dramatic the results. But this should be balanced by the risks and side effects of the harsher, deeper peels.

How Do You Prepare for a Superficial Chemical Peel?

1-2 weeks prior to your treatment, avoid adding anything new to your skincare routine. Specifically, avoid exfoliating facials, facial electrolysis and sunbathing/sunbed use.

 

3 days prior to your treatment, stop using active skincare products containing retinoic acid derivatives.

 

Your consultation in detail:

Step One – Consultation and Consent

On arrival at the clinic, your practitioner will complete detailed personal details and medical history form with you.

 

They will discuss your medical history and clearly highlight the realistic, expected result of the treatment.

 

They will also describe any potential side effects and ask whether you understand the summary of the treatment you are about to receive. This process should take as long as you need and allow you to weigh up the benefits against the risks.

 

You will sign and date your completed forms and a consent form.

 

Often it is important to prepare the skin, usually for around 2 weeks, with specific creams before you have the peel. These creams are designed to minimize risks and/or increase effectiveness. It is important to use these products as directed by your practitioner, and not use any of your own creams.

 

Step Two – Your Superficial Peel Treatment

 

Your face is first cleaned thoroughly. Sometimes, it is also degreased with alcohol, to allow the acid to penetrate the skin fully.

 

The peel is quickly painted onto the skin and left on for 2-10 minutes (usually 5 mins), depending on the acid used and how well you tolerate the stinging sensation.

 

Once the required time has elapsed, the peel is washed off and neutralised.

 

A moisturiser with a mineral sunscreen should then be applied to your face.

 

Step Three – The Check-Up

 

It is good practice for your practitioner to offer a free check-up a few days after your treatment. This allows them to check your progress and recovery. You may be advised to have regular peels every 4-6 weeks.

How Do You Prepare for a Medium-depth Chemical Peel?

6 weeks prior to your treatment, stop using skin products containing vitamin A derivatives, unless directed by your practitioner.

 

1-2 weeks prior to your treatment, avoid exfoliating facials, waxing, hair removal creams, laser hair removal, electrolysis and sunbathing/sunbed use.

 

24 hours prior to your treatment, stop using exfoliating products including those containing alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

 

Your consultation and treatment in details:

 

Step One – Consultation and Consent

 

On arrival at the clinic, Dr Wafaa will complete detailed personal details and medical history form with you.

 

She will discuss your medical history and clearly highlight the realistic, expected result of the treatment.

 

She will also describe any potential side effects and ask whether you understand the summary of the treatment you are about to receive. This process should take as long as you need and allow you to weigh up the benefits against the risks.

 

You will sign and date your completed forms and a consent form.

 

Often it is important to prepare the skin, usually for around 2 weeks, with specific creams containing active skincare products before you have the peel. These creams are designed to minimize risks and/or increase effectiveness. It is important to use these products as directed by your practitioner, and not use any of your own creams.

 

Step Two – Your Medium Depth Chemical Peel Treatment

 

Your face is first cleaned thoroughly. It may be degreased with alcohol to maximise the absorption of acid into your skin.

 

The peel is applied to the skin with a soft brush or cotton pads.

 

The peel solution reacts with the skin causing it to become ‘frosted’, where it slowly turns pinkish-white over several minutes.

 

You will experience stinging and discomfort. The skin may be cooled with fans during this time.

 

The peel is then neutralised (TCA peels are considered self-neutralising).

 

Your skin will then be moisturised and protected with a high SPF sunscreen.

 

Step Three – The Check-Up

 

It is good practice for your practitioner to offer a free check-up, a few days after your treatment.

What Should You Do Following a Chemical Peel?

Superficial Peel

 

It is very important that you carefully follow the advice of your practitioner following a peel treatment to help improve the benefit of the procedure and reduce the risk of complications or side effects.

 

Following your treatment, you should cleanse your face very gently with a soap-free cleanser, patting the skin dry with a towel. Ensure you moisturise your skin well.

 

2-4 days after your treatment you may experience peeling – though not everyone does. DO NOT pick or peel your skin. If you do, you risk bleeding, discolouration and even scarring.

 

Wear a high SPF sunscreen for at least 6 weeks post-treatment. This will reduce the risk of brown blotches (hyperpigmentation) forming on your skin.

 

Medium-depth Peel

 

It is very important that you carefully follow the advice of your practitioner, following a peel treatment, to help improve the benefit of the procedure and reduce the risk of complications or side effects.

As the chemical peel penetrates deeper layers of skin, you may experience more discomfort and peeling afterwards, compared to a superficial peel.
Do not scratch or pick at your skin as doing this may result in permanent scarring. The peeling skin is a barrier. Your aim is to take care of it, not remove it!

To help avoid infection, follow your practitioner’s advice regarding hygiene, including washing your face gently with a mild cleanser and not wearing make-up.

Ensure you wear a high SPF sunscreen during the course of your treatment and for 4 weeks after. Avoid any direct sun exposure for 6 weeks.

Only use the skincare products advised by your practitioner.

Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after your treatment, and avoid saunas, steam rooms and hot showers until your skin is healed.

Do not have any other facial treatments for at least 1 week after the peel.

If, at any point, you experience any unexpected pain or swelling, discolouration, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation or infection, consult your practitioner immediately. Please note that prior to the skin peeling away, it may become uniformly darker.

Are There any Side Effects and Risks of Chemical Peels?

Superficial Peels

As superficial chemical peels are the gentlest of the peels, you are less likely to experience an adverse reaction than with a medium-depth or deep peel.

 

  • You may experience slight white discolouration in some areas or blotchy skin, though this should subside within a few hours.
  • You may experience peeling 2-4 days after your treatment.
  • Hyperpigmentation (brown spots on the skin) may occur with all peels, especially if your skin is darker. To reduce the chance of this, it is important to use creams as directed by your practitioner. This should include a high factor sunscreen daily.
  • It is important to avoid direct sun exposure for 6 weeks post-peel.
  • Cold sores – if you are susceptible to cold sores, you may find you have an outbreak after a chemical peel. To help prevent this, taking a course of antiviral medicine as advised by your practitioner beforehand may be advised.
  • Redness – sometimes skin redness persists for more than 2-3 months, but this usually disappears in time.

Medium-depth Peels

Your face may swell slightly following a medium-depth peel and your skin may turn dark brown with white streaks. Following this, the skin will peel over 5-7 days, during which time it may be itchy, tight and easily irritated.

Once the skin has peeled, fresh, bright red skin will appear. This will fade to your normal skin tone over 3-6 weeks. Sometimes, skin redness persists for more than 2-3 months, but this also usually disappears in time.

Hyperpigmentation (brown spots on skin) may occur with all peels. To reduce the chance of this, apply high factor sunscreen daily and avoid direct sun exposure for 6 weeks post peel.

Bleaching creams can be used to help minimise the appearance of any hyperpigmentation – these should only be used if prescribed by your practitioner. You should not undertake at-home bleaching without the advice of a medically qualified prescriber.

If you are susceptible to cold sores, you may find you have an outbreak after a chemical peel. To help prevent this, taking a course of antiviral medicine beforehand may be advised by your practitioner.

There is a small chance of developing a localised skin infection following a chemical peel.

Scarring is extremely unlikely with a medium-depth peel if it is done properly, by a medically qualified practitioner, who will advise appropriate before and aftercare ensuring the risk of infection is minimised.

How Much Do Chemical Peels Work?

Superficial Peels

 

Prices start from £120 for a superficial peel, such as a glycolic or lactic acid peel using a medical-grade peel from OBAGI.

 

Medium-depth Peel

 

Medium-depth peels at Dr Wafaa Clinic generally start from £450 upwards for a single peel.

Had 1 ml Juvaderm lip filler last week and am over the moon with the results.I’ve had my lips done twice before in different places and found the process extremely painful, however, my experience with Dr Wafaa was almost completely pain-free.She is so knowledgeable and lovely, I cannot recommend her enough!