A chemical peel involves the application of chemical solutions to the skin in a controlled manner, producing controlled tissue death. The desired depth of the wound is dependent upon the condition to be treated. After the peel, the skin regenerates. The damaged skin likely regenerates through the growth of cells from deeper layers of the epidermis.
Chemical peels are broadly defined by the depth of damage in the skin that they produce. They are categorized as superficial, medium, and deep. Superficial peels do not damage skin below the epidermis, the most superficial skin layer. Medium peels may reach to the superficial layer of the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin. Deep peels generally reach the deeper layers of the dermis. The depth of damage depends on the nature and concentration of the chemicals in the peeling solution and the length of time they are permitted to interact with the skin. Popular chemicals in peeling solutions include retinoids (tretinoin dissolved in propylene glycol), alpha-hydroxy acids (lactic acid and glycolic acid), beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), trichloroacetic acid, and phenol (carbolic acid). Jessner’s solution, a combination of resorcinol (14 g), salicylic acid (14 g), and lactic acid (85%) in ethanol (95%), is also an excellent peeling agent.
Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?
The most common candidate for a chemical peel is a person with sun-damaged skin, uneven pigmentation, and/or actinic keratoses. Sun damage results in fine wrinkling, skin thinning, sun spots (liver spots or solar lentigines), and very early precursor to skin cancers called actinic keratoses. Skin peels may also be used to treat acne scarring.
Who should not get a chemical peel?
Individuals with darkly pigmented skin should be very cautious about having chemical peels. This is because there is a significant chance that the pigmentation of the newly healed skin will be substantially different from their current skin color.
Courtesy Of Medicinenet.com