In addition, chemical peels can help even out skin discoloration caused by acne, sun damage (natural and artificial), age, or certain skin conditions such as melasma or virtiglio.
Chemical peels are exactly what they sound like—the application of certain chemicals to the skin. The chemicals are allowed to dry on the skin, and then rinsed off with water. “Peels” actually refers to what your skin does after they have been performed.
There are different types of chemical peels. Some can be used at home; others are professional peels that are intended only for application by a dermatologist or someone who is trained in performing them.
There are many benefits to chemical peels. These include a more even skin tone, an improved appearance, and in some cases, treatment for certain skin conditions.
As mentioned earlier, chemical peels can be used at home, if you follow directions carefully. Remember, you are using chemicals, and although many of them are those that are found naturally in some foods, fruits, or plants, they have been processed in such a way that their concentration is higher than it would normally be in its natural state.
Home chemical peels are good for those who only want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or for skin discoloration or scarring that does not go too deeply. They can have almost the same results as professional peels, but because they do not penetrate as deeply, they may be easier to use and may cause less discomfort.
Professional peels can be used when skin discoloration is caused by skin conditions such as the two mentioned in the summary. Melasma can be caused by over exposure to artificial sunlight, such as you would encounter in a tanning bed or from a sunlamp. Vitiglio can be caused by other factors, such as an autoimmune disease.
In addition, professional peels may work better on deep scarring, such as that caused by severe acne. They do penetrate deeper, and thus can remove more skin layers.
If you are thinking that the chemical peels will cause all the skin to lift right off, much as you would peel off a face mask, then you should know that this is not how it works. When chemical peels are performed, the skin flakes or peels off gradually, usually over a period of a few weeks.
During the time the skin is peeling, you should not pick at or pull off loose skin. This is especially true if you have received professional peels, as they may have penetrated the skin’s surface a little deeper. Removing dead skin before it is ready may result in sores or bleeding.
Washing will help remove some of the peeling skin; however, you must constantly remind yourself not to “help” the peeling process. Rather, use your moisturizer as instructed in your home chemical peels kit or as you were told by whoever performed your professional peels. This will help the peeling to be less noticeable.