A chemical peel is a procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove damaged skin cells – a process called exfoliation. It also stimulates the growth of new skin cells and improves the collagen layer beneath the skin, thus contributing to the rejuvenating process. There are different strengths of chemical peeling solutions. The mildest are derivatives of natural substances found in nature (salicylic, lactic, glycolic acids), while stronger peels include TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and phenol. At AMAI, we offer you a range of peels to suit any cosmetic indication.

Chemical peels can be used medically to remove pre-cancerous skin growths. In the cosmetic scenario, superficial chemical peels are used to improve the general skin appearance (glycolic and lactic acid peels) and treat mild acne (salicylic acid peels), while deeper and stronger peels can remove pigmentation, improve acne scars and reduce fine lines and skin creases (TCA peels).

The procedure usually lasts from five to twenty minutes depending on the strength of the peel and/or the amount of time it has to be left on the skin. Sometime also has to be allotted for skin preparation before and conditioning after the treatment. Usually, only a slight stinging sensation lasting a few minutes is described: this shows that the peel is working. With stronger TCA peels, some slight sedation before the treatment may be desirable.

There should be redness and a feeling of tightness shortly afterwards. Some swelling and darkening may occur in the first twenty-four to forty eight hours. Peeling of skin may occur up to seven days after, but this does not always happen and depends on the kind of peel used.

The doctor may advise using an exfoliant cream from one week before the peel. A light microdermabrasion or radiofrequency may also be advised before the procedure to allow better penetration of the applied product. If indicated, a test patch may be conducted during the consultation. After the treatment, it is important to apply sun protection factor, and the doctor will advise on barrier or other creams depending on strength of the peel. You will be able to use cosmetic make-up if skin shedding is not prominent.

Weekly to monthly, depending on the indication and the strength of the chemical peel.

Some anti-acne drugs (retinoids) or procedures like deep dermabrasion have to be avoided six months before any skin peel. People who have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the last six months should discuss the possibility of using peels. If you are pregnant or breast feeding you should also avoid chemical peels. Other contraindications are open wounds on the skin or tendency to form keloids (big scars).