Busting Myths Around Chemical Peels For The Skin

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Busting Myths Around Chemical Peels For The Skin

A chemical peel is a superficial treatment i.e. it works on dead skin layer and makes the skin fresher and brighter.

Busting myths around chemical peels for the skin

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They should have thought of a better name for the ‘Chemical Peel’ procedure! For a layperson it appears to be some sort of peeling of chemicals from the skin. Some people also worry this can cause permanent damage to the skin layer. The chemical peel is nothing but a process of applying a superficial layer of mask that helps remove the dead skin without causing any damage. In fact, after the removal of the peel, the skin that appears, is fresher and brighter than before. In this article, Dr. Aanchal Panth, MD, Dermatology, offers her professional advice on the process and busts related myths. 

Do chemical peels make the skin thin?

When it comes to Indian skin types, Dr Aanchal says that normally the Superficial chemical peels (SCPs) are used. As the name suggests, they work only on the dead skin layer and do not penetrate deeper. When applied correctly, they help replenish the skin and improve cell turnover. 

Do chemical peels work only if the skin sheds?

Remember that not all chemical peels cause visible shedding of the skin. She explains one may not see a lot of shedding in case of certain chemicals like tretinoin, alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid largely due to the increased cell turnover in the skin. Regardless, one will notice the benefits of chemical peels.

Are chemical peels necessary for the skin?

A lot of people may worry that their skin may get addicted to chemical peeling. On the contrary, a person may get used to a fresh and clearer skin, and that is why people keep using chemical peels. Even so, it is done once every three to four months using mild peels depending upon the skin type, under a dermatologist’s recommendation. 

Do chemical peels exacerbate acne?

Usually there may be eruptions after the first session. However, this is not a cause of worry as these usually are the eruptions that were under the skin and have now surfaced since the upper layer of the skin has been peeled. They subside on their own within two to three weeks, making the skin less prone to acne in the long run. 

Do chemical peels make acne worse if use of chemical peels is stopped?

In the case of active acne, professionals apply peels that aid in shedding the over-lining layer of the skin and help in the easy flow of oil out of the skin, so that there are fewer acne eruptions. At the same time, the dermatologist points out that the chemical peels do not make the skin worse when they are stopped. However, one needs to continue the chemical peel for at least six months and continue with the medical procedures and treatments for up to two years to witness favourable results.

Do chemical peels cause premature ageing?

In fact, chemical peels help in improving the quality of the skin by boosting collagen formation on the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

Can one use regular creams after chemical peels?

The job of a chemical peel is to shed the top layer of the skin. If one is using retinoid or alpha hydroxyl acid in higher concentration, then one might want to stop that for a week to ten days depending upon the skin type. Of course, after the peel, the skin might feel irritated, so applying a good layer of moisturiser is important.

Do chemical peels make skin darker?

On the contrary, the chemical peel makes the skin appear toned and brighter. But one has to be careful when using sunscreen and moisturiser.  

Are chemical peels only for the face?

They can be used on the arms, buttock areas and nearly everywhere else. Also, peels should be used where there are a lot of dark spots, back acne and stretch marks.

Are chemical peels expensive?

This is an affordable and beneficial treatment. However, the price also depends upon which peel one uses. 

Do chemical peels have many side effects?

The side effects occur only if the peel is not used as per the correct skin type. One also needs to take precautions, such as staying out of direct sunlight, moisturising the skin, and not using harsh scrubs or face wash for about a week.

Are clinic peels and home-based peels the same?

These peels are best used in a controlled environment under the supervision of a professional, according to the skin type. At home, one can try glycolic acid peel or lactic acid peel.

When it comes to chemical peels, the best way to forward is under professional guidance. While these peels make the skin appear brighter and better, it is important to get their composition right. All in all, it is a safe procedure that will enhance the quality of the skin in the long run.

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