The Spire Hospital Bristol, The Glen, Durdham Down, Bristol BS6 6UT Tel: 0117 968 8144

Chemical and Medical Skin Peels

What is a deep/chemical/medical skin peel?

A deep skin peel (often referred to as a medical skin peel, or chemical skin peel) uses agents such as phenol and croton oil to induce a chemical burn which would, once healed, resurface the treated area of skin and can give an improvement to both tone and texture of the skin, including improving the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

In general terms a peel solution is applied to the skin creating an even and controlled shedding of several layers of the skin cells. This stimulates new collagen production, increased new skin cell formation and skin elasticity and so improves the hydration properties, therefore allowing the new skin to be seen. The new layer of skin is much fresher, smoother and has a more even tone appearance.

With improvements in technology, the results of deep skin peels have been found to be less reliable and complication rates higher than the more preferred solution of Laser Skin Resurfacing. Medical or chemical skin peels should only be carried out by an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon, or a cosmetic dermatologist.

What are the different types of skin peel available?

Glycolic Acid Peels are spa strength, mild skin peels used to improve the overall appearance of the skin as part of a skin care routine.

Alpha hydroxy acids are the mildest and usually cause the least shedding or peeling. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, or fruit acids eg pumpkin or pineapple, are the commonest and the mildest. Glycolic acid peels are very mild and mostly used in spas and salons. Kojic acid can be combined with these and does have some lightening properties

Beta hydroxy acids are slightly stronger. The commonest is Salicylic acid and has both anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory activity so is my first choice peel for acne sufferers.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) has long been used as an agent for medium to deep peels. It has many beneficial and safe characteristics when used by experienced clinicians in high concentration and is also very good in lower concentrations. It works well for fine wrinkles and pigmentation at medium strength and deeper lines and superficial scarring when more concentrated. It is my favourite peel agent and is suitable for most skin types.

What is the procedure for a skin peel?

The treatment procedure may take between 30-40 minutes and depending upon strength of the peel may be relatively painless. Certain peels do require you to prepare the skin for 2-3 weeks beforehand and a course of peels are generally more beneficial than one. We always recommend and advise you of the protection properties and its importance in maintaining your results by the use of a SFP 30 sunscreen for at least 6 months to help prevent environmental and sun damage to your new smoother younger skin.

How much does a skin peel cost?

The cost of a skin peel, or set of skin peel treatments will depend on the type of skin peel chosen - please contact us for more details on the different options including TCA peels, micro peels, Jessners, Kojic and Phenol peels are available upon request where appropriate for you.

Your Next Steps...

For more information on Chemical and Medical Skin Peels, available treatments, fact sheets and healing times, please either contact Simon Lee directly, or register for Simon Lee's free email newsletter and we will keep you updated with articles and information on a variety of surgical or non-surgical procedures, as well as news, new techniques and clinic special offers.

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