Chemical Skin Peel for Melasma

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Chemical skin peels are often used to treat melasma and other skin discolourations. They work by removing the upper layers of the skin so that healthy skin can grow in its place. Chemical skin peels come in different strengths and to treat melasma you are likely to need a medium to deep depth skin peel.

Where to Go for Chemical Skin Peels

As with all cosmetic procedures chemical skin peels can be dangerous if performed poorly by an inexperienced practitioner. Therefore, it is extremely important that you find a reliable practitioner to perform your treatment. You should try to find a practitioner with a good reputation and plenty of experience. This means researching clinics that offer chemical skin peels in your area. You should try to find patient recommendations and it may be worth talking to your GP about what to expect.

Medium Depth Chemical Skin Peels

Medium depth chemical skin peels completely destroy the top layers of the skin. This causes much skin regeneration and the production of collagen. Trichloroacetic acid is usually used for a medium depth chemical skin and the concentration can be altered depending on the severity of your discolouration.

You are likely to be given a pre- treatment scheme by your practitioner and should follow this as closely as possible to prevent complications and maximise the results. Trichloracetic acid is usually applied using cotton buds and will leave you with a burning sensation after the treatment. You will require a course of treatments, which will be determined by the practitioner. These treatments will be spaced by two to three months.

After your skin peel, you should keep your skin moist but should try to avoid damaging it. You should not try to pick at the skin or peel it as this can cause damage and scarring. You will need to wear a high factor sun protection cream for at least six months after your treatment. Your skin will take about two months to recover from the peel.

Deep Chemical Skin Peels

Deep chemical skin peels may be required for more severe and long term melasma, however they carry more serious risks than medium depth chemical skin peels. Phenol is used for deep chemical skin peels and is carried out under a general anaesthetic. You will be required to wear a high factor sun protection cream indefinitely after the procedure, as your skin will always be weakened. Unlike other treatments for melasma, you will only require one treatment with phenol.

You must ensure that you use a practitioner with a lot of experience if you decide to undergo a deep chemical peel. Phenol is a toxic substance that can be fatal if not used correctly. Phenol is not suitable if you have a dark skin tone, as the skin will be left much lighter than the rest of your body.

Recovery from Chemical Skin Peels

The length of the recovery period after having a chemical skin peel varies depending on the type of peel used. It can be between two and fourteen days before you are able to resume normal activities. After about a week, you are likely to be able to wear cover up makeup to hide the redness. Your skin will normally return to its normal state after between two and six months. It is important that you follow the after- care advice of your practitioner. This will involve not touching the skin as it peels and keeping it well moisturised.

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