A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old. Peels are broken down into superficial, medium and deep.
- Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alphahydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. This treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discolouration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
- Medium peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the outer and middle layers of the skin to remove damaged skin cells. This treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discolouration.
- Deep peel: Trichloroacetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance. The procedure is used on the face and can only be performed once.
Any complications when using chemical peels?
- Temporary or permanent change in skin colour, particularly for women on birth control who subsequently become pregnant;
- Reactivation of cold sores.
What can I expect after having a chemical peel?
- Superficial peels – require 1 – 7 days to heal. Skin will be red and may scale. Lotion or cream should be applied until the skin heals, followed by daily sunscreen.
- Medium peels – require 7 – 14 days to heal. Treated skin will be red and swollen, swelling worse for the first 48 hours. Blisters may form and break. Skin crusts and peels off in 7 – 14 days. Skin must be soaked daily for a specified period, followed by ointment application. Avoid all sun exposure. A follow up appointment will be necessary to monitor progress.
- Deep peels – require 14 – 21 days to heal. The treated area will be bandaged. Skin must be soaked 4 – 6 times a daily, followed by ointment application for the first 14 days. Avoid all sun exposure for 3 – 6 months. Several follow up appointments will be necessary.
Four types of peels
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels (AHA) – Sometimes referred to as fruit acid peels, AHA peels are water-soluble peels that tend to be superficial, though they do come in varying strengths. The most commonly used AHA is glycolic acid, but other forms include lactic, citric, and mandelic acids. These are very beneficial in photo aging, discoloration like melasma, as well as for fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, AHAs have been shown to increase collagen production. All peels have possible side effects, but again, AHA peels tend to be more superficial, so you can expect minimal downtime, including some facial redness immediately post-treatment and possible mild peeling over the following week.
- Beta Hydroxy Acid Peels (BHA) – The most common beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid, which is an oil-soluble ingredient that penetrates pores more effectively than AHAs. BHA peels are also usually superficial peels. Since BHAs are oil-soluble, and because salicylic acid is a known acne-buster, this type of peel is best for those with acne-prone or oily skin. They’re less likely to cause irritation than AHA peels. That’s because salicylic acid is a known anti-inflammatory — it’s related to aspirin, after all! — and can help soothe skin.
- Trichloroacetic Acid Peels (TCA) – Trichloroacetic acid is a much stronger peeling agent that results in a medium-depth peel. While you can find gentle, easy-to-use versions of AHA and BHA peels at clinics, a TCA peel should always be administered in a clinical setting. Since these peels are more aggressive, they can be useful for pigment abnormalities, fine lines, and texture and can have some benefit for deeper lines, as well. These are ideal for clients that want to see results more quickly and have the time to peel for seven to 10 days following their treatment. On that note, a TCA peel does cause post-treatment redness and sensitivity. Your skin will likely feel tight and tender in the days that follow, and a constant flurry of dead skin cells will flutter off your face for the next week to 10 days.
- Phenol Peels – Phenol peels are the most aggressive form of chemical peels, using carbolic acid to penetrate into the deep layers of the dermis. Given their potency, they’re reserved only for patients who need a very deep treatment. That includes those with very deep and/or numerous wrinkles, scarring, severe photo damage, and even people who have skin abnormalities as a result of precancerous growths. If, like us, you are excited by the potential of such a powerful treatment, hold your horses: the average person really only needs a superficial or medium peel to get the skin-smoothing, radiance-revealing results they want. If your dermatologist has declared you a candidate for a phenol peel, know that the application process is largely the same, but there’s one more step before the actual treatment: you’ll likely receive a sedative and/or anaesthetic to help reduce pain and discomfort.
The vampire facial is also known as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial or Therapy. Platelet-rich plasma is extracted from your blood and applied to your skin which in turn encourages cell turnover, boosts collagen and elastin production and increases the skin’s hydration levels. If you were someone who is not good with needles or blood it may not be the treatment for you.
Firstly your practitioner will clean your skin and may use a topical numbing cream. They will extract blood from your arm, around 2 teaspoons. The practitioner will then put the vial of your blood into a machine called a centrifuge which will spin your blood to separate your red blood cells, platelets and plasma. The plasma rich in platelets will be extracted from it. This plasma will be applied to the skin during micro-needling or microdermabrasion. This tricks your skin in to into believing it is injured making it produce more collagen. Please be aware that you will most probably will want to go straight home after a vampire facial!
After the treatment you will probably experience some redness and soreness similar to sunburn which should settle the day after the treatment. Some people may experience bruising or slight swelling for a few days. Around 3 to 4 days all swelling should be gone but the rough texture on the skin could remain for about a week following your treatment. Following your procedure, your practitioner will advise you on how to care for your skin. Keeping hydrated and wearing a high factor sunscreen is a must.
Most people see benefits after a course of three treatments a month apart and the results can last from 1-2 years.
Benefits of the PRP facial
Improves the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines;
Improves your skin texture;
Reduces the size of the skin pores;
Improves the appearance of acne scars;
Improves the plumpness of your skin;
Gives you a youthful glow and smooth skin;
Improves the effectiveness of skin care products.
The Vampire facial is not recommended for people with blood-related disorders, anaemia or cancer of the blood or bones. Anyone taking blood thinners or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories will be advised to stop a few days before a treatment.