Skin Peels for Skin Pigmentation

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Skin peels involve applying chemicals to the skin which cause the top layers of the skin to peel off. They can be used to reduce the appearance of pigmented areas.

Mild chemical peels

Mild chemical peels can be used to treat cosmetic skin pigmentation problems such as acne, and mild skin pigmentation caused by sun exposure. The most common mild chemical peels contain alpha hydroxyl acids such as glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid. These peels can also be added to a daily facial wash or cream and used as part of your daily skin care. Possible side effects of these mild chemical peels include stinging, redness, irritation and dryness.

Medium chemical peels

If mild skin peels aren’t effective in reducing the appearance of pigmented areas then medium chemical peels can be used. Usually the main component of medium skin peels is trichloroacetic acid. The concentrations of trichloroacetic acid can be increased to allow deeper penetration into the skin. You should use sunscreen for several months after having this kind of skin peel. It is possible for medium chemical peels to cause scarring and so a concentration of no more than 35% trichloroacetic acid should be used.

Deep chemical peels

For very problematic skin pigmentation deep chemical peels can be used. This type of chemical skin peels usually includes phenol. Deep chemical skin peels are very strong and penetrate much further into the skin than mild and medium chemical peels. This kind of peel is usually long term and effects can last for up to 20 years. After having a deep chemical peel you should use sunscreen for the rest of your life. Possible side effects include permanent removal of freckles and skin lightening.

Which type of chemical peel should you use?

When deciding on the strength of chemical peel to use, you should not only take into consideration the type of skin pigmentation but also its location on the body. The skin on your face can heal faster than the skin on the rest of your body and so is the area able to withstand the stronger chemical peels with the least side effects. The neck and backs of the hands are the areas of the body that heal the slowest so deep chemical peels should not be used on these areas.

Can you do a chemical peel at home?

Light chemical skin peels can be done at home which makes them a faster and cheaper option for treating skin pigmentation than going to a clinic. If you choose to do a chemical skin peel at home, you should be very careful when making it. It is always a safer option to get it done by a professional than to do it yourself. Medium and deep skin peels should not be done at home and should be performed by a doctor. Deep skin peels will usually require you to be either heavily sedated or under general anaesthetic as it can be very painful.

How much do chemical peels cost?

The costs of chemical peels vary depending on which peel you need. They usually range in price from £70-£500. You can perform mild chemical peels at home which are much cheaper than getting it done at a clinic.

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