Chemical peel

Chemical peel

A chemical peel is a mild form of a plastic surgery or a skin treatment where the top layers of skin are made to peel away from skin with the help of a chemical solution. A new and younger skin grows back thereafter.

Chemical peel is used mostly on faceto treat wrinkles, uneven skin tone, skin pigmentation and scars.

Depending upon the requirements and chemicals used, chemical peels can be of different types — light, medium or deep.

  • Light chemical peel.It removes the epidermis or the superficial layer of skin. It can be done for six weeks- once every week. Chemical solutions used are glycolic acid or salicylic acid. It is recommended in case of superficial skin problems like wrinkles and mild skin pigmentations. There may be chances of hyperpigmentation after a light chemical peel.
  • Medium chemical peel. It removes cells from the epidermis as well asthe dermis. A chemical containing trichloroacetic acid with glycolic acidand is performed every 6- 12 months for better results.
  • Deep chemical peel.It removes cells from the epidermis as well as mid to lower layer of your dermis using carbolic acid or phenol as chemical agent. It is recommended in case of deeper skin problems.It is also recommended in case of precancerous growth.

Side effects

  • That could last for several months. Cool compresses or petroleum jelly can be used to treat redness.
  • Scarring.Chemical peel may rarely cause scarring Antibiotics or steroid medications could be used to treat or soften these scars.
  • Changes in skin color. A chemical peel can lead to hyperpigmentation where skin becomes darker than earlier or hypopigmentation with skin becoming lighter than normal. Change in people with darker skin color is common which can even be permanent.
  • Acne. Minute white bumps called miliamay occur after a chemical peel. It may also occur with the use of oil-based creams on treated skin or due to previous acne.
  • Infection. A chemical peel can cause a spread of the herpes infection. It rarely causes a fungal or bacterial infection.
  • Damage to heart, kidney or liver. Phenol used in deep peeling may harm the kidneys, heart muscles and liver. Thus it is done in intervals of 10- to 20-minute.


  • History of isotretinoin medication for acne in the past six months
  • In case of dark complexion
  • Pale or freckled complexion with red hair
  • Presence of keloid scars
  • Presence of facial warts
  • In case of pregnancy or breast-feeding


  • Proper medical history for medications is taken
  • Skin examination is conducted
  • The hair and eyes are properly covered
  • A sedative or local anesthesia is given in case of moderate and deep peeling. For deep peel IV fluids are given with constant monitoring of heart rate.
  • The chemical solution is applied gently with a cotton ball or a brush or a sponge and is kept for approximately 10 minutes. A deep peel may take 60-90 minutes performed in small intervals
  • A neutralizing solution or a cool compress is applied afterwards.
  • Follow all the necessary instructions like avoiding use of cosmetics and other chemicals, protection against sun and use of certain prescribed medications.
  • Schedule a checkup 24 or 48 hours after treatment to get thedressing removed and get theoozing yellowish liquid cleared away.