By Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Consultant Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a dermatological treatment method used to enhance the appearance of skin on the face, neck, and hands. A chemical solution (usually a weak acid) is then applied to the skin and left for a few minutes. This makes the top layer of skin “blister” and peel off. The newly regenerated skin will usually be smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
What conditions can chemical peels treat?
Chemical peels are used for a variety of different conditions, ranging from pigmentation problems such as age spots, freckles and melasma to wrinkles caused by sun damage. It is also commonly used to treat certain kinds of acne and to improve the appearance of mild scars.
To treat these conditions, chemical peel treatment is not used in isolation. It is usually used in conjunction with treatments such as Blue Light Therapy (which kills 99.99% of acne bacteria it reaches) and other laser treatments, in accordance with each patient’s personalized needs.
How is a chemical peel usually administered?
Prior to the peel, the patient’s skin will usually be thoroughly cleaned by a cleansing agent to remove any excess oil present. In our clinic, we use our in-house dermatologist formulation, the Miel Honey™ Cleanser, a blend of natural emulsifiers that cleanses and moisturises skin at the same time.
Following this, the acid solution is applied to the patient’s skin in a controlled manner by our dermatologist. The acid is usually an alpha-hydroxy acid—naturally occurring acids that can be found in fruits. This acid will be left on the patient’s skin for about 3 minutes while a fan is set to blow at the patient’s face.
During the peel, most patients will feel a burning or a stinging sensation that may last for a few minutes. At our clinic, a cooling facemask will be applied after treatment to soothe the burning sensation.
What should I expect following the peel?
After a chemical peel, there might be redness or scaling on your skin. That is perfectly normal. In fact, it is a sign that the chemical peel has achieved its intended effects.
Besides this, a chemical peel will render your skin temporarily more sensitive to the sun. Thus, sunscreen will be required. Should you choose to purchase sunscreen commercially, do ensure that the sunscreen you use has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 and above, and should include the term “broad-spectrum” on its label, implying that it protects your skin against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
© 2017 Dr. Teo Wan Lin. All rights reserved.
Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, consultant dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.
To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.