Chemical peelings are differentiated between medium deep peelings and deep peelings, depending on the penetration effect in the skin. The treatment should always be entrusted to a dermatologist, as chemical peelings are not intended for home use. Chemical peelings can certainly have positive effects on the skin, as the active ingredients can penetrate much deeper into the skin, compared to the superficial fruit acid peeling. Due to their deep effect it’s possible to achieve better lasting effects. However, this deep effect also has its price…
Can chemical peelings even be combined?
Yes, the combination of a medium deep peeling with a deep peeling is still possible. Sometimes produces it gives the best results.
1. Middle Deep Peeling with TCA
The classic TCA peeling, which contains trichloroacetic acid, is one of the medium deep chemical peelings. TCA can be used in various concentrations, but mostly it’s used in a medium concentration of 20 to 30 %. In addition to the classic TCA peeling, today we have new combination peelings such as the Blue Peel by Dr. Zein E. Obagi. This chemical peeling combines TCA and glycolic acid (a fruit acid). Previously, higher TCA concentrations of 60% were used, today this is no longer practiced because the high concentrations led to increased scarring. The deep penetration of trichloroacetic acid can also be achieved by combining it with glycolic acid.
- Light TCA peeling: approx. 15 %
- Medium-strong TCA peeling: 20 to 30 %
- Strong TCA peeling: 30 to 40%
How does the TCA peeling work?
The TCA peeling penetrates about 0.45 millimeters into the so-called papillary dermis. The epidermis and the upper layers of the dermis are completely removed. This stimulates tissue synthesis
🍀 Smoothing of fine wrinkles or superficial scars
🍀 Skin pigmentations are corrected and sun-related cell damage is reduced.
What are the side effects of TCA peeling?
At a low TCA concentration of 15%, side effects occur very rarely. At a medium to high TCA concentration, the following temporary side effects may occur: Swelling in the facial area can occur after treatment. In addition, skinredness can occur, which can persist up to a few months. Temporary hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) may occur.
Possible long-term risks through TCA peeling
Especially in dark skin types the treatment can lead to a permanent lightening of the skin. Infection with viruses or bacteria can delay wound healing, which can result in scarring.
2. Deep Peeling with Phenol
Phenol Peeling is the strongest deep peeling available. It leads to a pronounced stimulation of tissue synthesis in the deep skin layers.
Unfortunately the skin peeling doesn’t always look as elegant like with this young lady. Source: flickr
When is Phenol Peeling used?
The Phenol peeling is used exclusively on the face for
- severe scars and skin wrinkles
- pronounced pigment disorders (extreme light-damaged skin)
- certain precursors of skin cancer
🍀 Stimulation of collagen and elastin production
🍀 Significant rejuvenation in deep wrinkles and age-related sagging skin – in terms of mechanical properties, not only in terms of aesthetic effect.
🍀 Complete skin renewal
How does the Phenol Peeling work?
It causes a very deep peeling of the skin to deep layers of the dermis to a depth of approx. 0.6 mm.
What downtime is to be expected after the phenol peeling?
After at least 2 to 3 weeks you are socially acceptable again and for 4 months you have to protect your skin very well from the sun. You should also use a sun cream with a high sun protection factor every day.
How many peelings are necessary?
Usually only one treatment is necessary to achieve a convincing result.
What are the risks of Phenol Peeling?
Phenol must not be used on patients with dark skin type, if this is not noticed, a clear lightening of the entire facial skin occurs. Even light skin types can develop a lighter skin tone.
Only an experienced doctor can almost entirely avoid complications with phenol peeling. Systemic side effects can occur during peeling. Systemic side effects affect the whole body and occur when the active ingredient reaches the entire organism via the blood. Therefore the control by an anaesthetist during the treatment is indispensable.
In rare cases, small scars may as well occur.
Melasma & Chemical Peelings – my Opinion
I would probably never dare to try a chemical peeling because I fear the side effects and long-term consequences that can occur. The whole facial skin can be lightened and scars can develop. I think you have to be aware of these risks before you undergo a chemical peeling. Instead of dark pigment spots, light spots can suddenly appear! Please let the doctor who you trust advise you in detail and then decide, but I personally would rather advise you against it. If you have a dark skin type, then you should be aware anyway that this treatment is out of the question.