How Safe Are Chemical Peels?


Technological advancements have taught people to enhance their looks by using machines or special kinds of cream or ointments. Others have invented procedures to defy aging and improve the way they look. One of these procedures is the chemical peel wherein dead and damaged upper layers of the skin are removed by using an acid solution. If you're considering a chemical peel, there are safety issues you should know about.


Chemical peels are helpful for individuals who have uneven skin pigmentation and facial blemishes. Safe dosages of chemicals such as phenol, trichloroacetic acid and alpha hydroxy acids are used in this type of procedure. Each patient is given a certain amount of acid dosage to address her need. Even though chemical peels enhance the image of the person to look young, this does not slow or prevent the aging process.


The obvious benefit of chemical peels is to provide a youthful and vibrant appearance to the one who has undergone the procedure. There are basically three types of chemical peels, which range from the intensity of the procedure--from light to deep. Light chemical peels remove acne scars and improve skin texture. Medium peels improve acne; smooth visible wrinkles and remove pigmentations in the skin. Deep chemical peels eliminate deep wrinkles, remove pre-cancerous growths and treat sun-damaged skin.


As any dermatological procedure, there are risks involved and not all procedures are safe. The first thing to consider is the quality of the dermatologist's work in the past so as to avoid unfavorable results. Although normal side effects such as irritation, peeling, and redness may be experienced, more serious complications such as scarring, infection and numbness may also be experienced and should be considered before proceeding. It is also important to follow the dermatologist's instructions in what to do before and after the procedure.


Before undergoing the procedure, certain precautions should be taken. Those with a history of allergic reactions should consult their dermatologist to find out if a chemical peel is suitable. Sensitive skin that is also allergic can be prone to scarring and irritation for an extended period of time. Individuals with a history of heart disease should consult their physician first, and those with a tendency to scar easily may want to consider that as well.

Other Considerations

Deep chemical peels or phenol peels can potentially cause a permanent darkening of the skin or permanent lightening of the skin. Because of this, patients with dark skin are not recommended to have the procedure. During the procedure, anesthesia is also involved, which can pose additional risks.

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