Chemical peels

Skin peels have existed for over 3000 years. Most of us may recall Queen Cleopatra bathing in sour milk. Egyptian women rubbed their faces with fermented grape skins to smooth the skin and enhance their beauty. This earliest form of improving the quality of the skin is now known as chemical peeling.


Aging and sun-damaged skin may develop redness, blemishes, facial veins, pigmentation and deep wrinkles. When skin is protected from the sun (your upper thighs or buttocks), it is relatively wrinkle-free and younger looking.


Many people are looking for a simple way to improve their skin without surgery or a facelift. Peels are a simple way to rejuvenate the skin, improve skin quality and remove fine wrinkles, as well as reducing sun spots and uneven pigmentation.


It is important to have a professional consultation to assess your skin and evaluate your treatment options. There are several different types of peel; each with its own unique benefits, as well as risks; the choice will depend on your skin type and the extent of any damage.


Chemical peels induce collagen growth, improve discoloration and age spotting, and provide for a general superficial resurfacing of the face. By destroying the surface layer of the facial skin, they allow a new layer to grow in its place which is smoother and has improved texture. The process of chemical peeling induces new collagen to rush up to the surface of the skin. A good analogy is that of pruning a withering rose, achieving a subsequent new growth and fresh beauty.


The procedure uses a chemical solution, usually an acid, to ‘peel’ away the top layers of the epidermis, although nothing actually ‘peels off’ during a chemical peel. The depth and strength of the ‘peel’ varies based upon the strength or type of the chemicals used and the length of time the solution is applied. It is not painful although a topical anaesthetic cream can be used to minimise any discomfort.


The treatment last 15-30 minutes and involves gently applying the special peel solution to the relevant areas. The peel solution is then neutralised once the correct amount of peeling is achieved, and an aftercare cream is applied. The patient applies the aftercare cream every day as well as a daily sun protection factor until the next follow up peel.


It is important to schedule your treatment with regard to social events, since the ‘peeling’ occurs between days 3-5. Any initial redness usually disappears by the time you have left the clinic.