Dr Julia Sen, Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon
    Dr Julia Sen, Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon

      CHEMICAL PEELS

      What is a Chemical Peel?

      Chemical peels are treatments in which various chemicals with an acidic composition are applied to the skin in order to improve the appearance and texture.

      Indications

      • Fine lines
      • Wrinkles caused by sun damage, ageing and hereditary factors
      • Scarring including acne scars
      • Pigmentation including age spots, freckles and dark patches due to hormonal changes (melasma)
      • Dark under-eye circles
      • Certain types of acne
      • Dull skin texture

      How are Chemical Peels performed?

      The skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils and the eyes and hairline are protected with barrier ointment. A solution containing one or more acid (glycolic, trichloroacetic, salicylic, lactic or mandelic) is applied to the skin. The effect of the peel is to remove surface dead skin cells and stimulate production of new collagen.

      Preparing for a Chemical Peel

      Prior to the chemical peel, a skin conditioning regime may be recommended to reduce the downtime of the peel and to optimise the results. If you suffer from cold sores it is important to state this so that prophylactic medication can be prescribed before the treatment is undertaken.

      During the treatment

      The solution is applied to skin and left on for a number of minutes. The skin usually feels tingly and warm whilst the solution is upon it. This sensation will calm once the peel has been neutralized and soothing balm applied. A sun-block cream will then be applied.

      What to expect following a Chemical Peel

      There may be some redness, the degree of which will depend on the your skin type and the strength of peel used. There may be some sloughing of dead surface skin for a few days; the newly exfoliated skin may be quite sensitive and susceptible to UV. A post-treatment regime will be recommended which will include a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

      Possible unwanted effects

      • Redness
      • Acne break-outs
      • Cold sores (if susceptible)
      • Dryness
      • Allergy
      • Eczma (if susceptible)

      Contra-indications

      You should not receive botulinum toxin injections in the following circumstances:

      • Pregnancy, Breast feeding
      • Concurrent antibiotic treatment
      • Known allergy to botulinum toxin or egg products

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