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General Concepts of Chemical Peeling

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jun 21, 2016 and last reviewed on Dec 07, 2018   -  1 min read


Chemical peels are very common in dermatological practice. Here in this article, I just tried to cover the common and frequently asked questions such as the uses, limitations and post-peel care.

General Concepts of Chemical Peeling

Chemical peeling is an application of a chemical agent to the skin to cause a controlled chemical burn. It should be deep enough to cause exfoliation of skin layers and superficial enough to allow regeneration with subsequent resurfacing and remodeling of collagen and elastic fibers.

Uses of Chemical Peeling:

  1. Chemical peeling is often used to treat melasma, freckles, fine lines under the eye and around the mouth, mild to moderate photodamage.
  2. Mild superficial scarring and certain types of acne can also be treated with a chemical peel.
  3. In addition, skin that is dull in texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling.

Limitations of a Chemical Peel:

Pitted scars will not respond to peeling nor will deep scars with severe atrophy.

Chemical Agents Commonly Used for Peeling:

For chemical peeling the most commonly used chemicals are

  1. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
  2. Alpha hydroxy acid - Glycolic acid (AHA-GCA).

After Care for Superficial Peel:

  1. Restriction of emollients to the treated skin for 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Tretinoin should not be applied for the first 3 to 7 days.
  3. Sun avoidance is mandatory.
  4. Sunscreen use may have to be temporarily discontinued for 3 to 7 days after a superficial peel if stinging occurs on application.
  5. Peeling skin should not be picked or scarring could result. The skin should be allowed to come off naturally.

An educated, well informed and fair skinned patient with melasma or any other indication of epidermal origin is an ideal case for peeling. Patients having active herpes, unrealistic expectation, open cuts, a tendency for keloid formation, and patient's undertaking Isotretinoin therapy are not suitable for chemical peeling.

To know more about chemical peel, consult a chemical peeling specialist online -->


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Last reviewed at:
07 Dec 2018  -  1 min read




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