What is a skin peeling facial?
Skin peeling facials, also known as chemical skin peels, remove the surface of your skin to enhance your complexion, treat ageing, pigmented skin and leave your skin soft, supple and radiant.
There are different levels of chemical peel, which your medical practitioner will advise on. A gentle, superficial peel can refresh the appearance and help with minor skin irregularities and discolouration. A medium peel can improve fine lines and wrinkles, areas of discolouration, acne scarring and moderate levels of sun damage. A deep peel can provide more dramatic results, improving moderate lines and wrinkles, age spots, sun damage and shallow scarring.
Chemical peels are also very effective in the treatment of active acne and can arrest even severe cases of acne for 6-12 months. Skin peels are not beauty treatments; they are medical aesthetic procedures with the potential for adverse side effects, so keep reading to check this is the right procedure for you.
Retinol £100 per peel or £280 for a course of 3
TCA £150 per peel or £400 for a course of 3
Little or no downtime
What happens during a skin peel facial?
At Fourways, a solution of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is applied to the face (neck, décolleté and hands may also be treated) by your medical practitioner. This will sting for a few minutes, but the sensation is tolerable and most patients do not require any anaesthesia.
A fan is used to relieve any stinging, and further layers are applied until the correct depth of penetration is achieved, as judged by the experience of the medical practitioner. The peel is then finished by the application of a post-peel cream, and you’ll take home a prescribed cream to apply to the treated area for the next few days (as directed).
What happens after a skin peeling facial?
Immediately following the peel, the treated skin may look red, and for the next 24-48 hours it will look smooth and quite tight. It is not uncommon for the face or treated areas to swell for a day or so.
The skin then becomes tighter, drier and sometimes darker as any abnormal pigmentation comes to the surface. On about the third day, the skin will start to peel and this is similar to the peeling sometimes seen after sunburn. The post peel cream can be liberally applied and the skin must be allowed to peel naturally without any pulling-off of loose skin. On the fifth to seventh day, the peeling is complete and the skin looks fresher and smoother.
Depending on the peel you choose, your face (or treated area) may be peel for 5 to 10 days.
What should you do after a peel procedure?
It is very important that you carefully follow the advice given by your practitioner to improve the benefit of the procedure and reduce the risk of complications or side effects. This includes:
Using all the crèmes as directed and using a high factor sun protection crème every day;
Cleansing the face gently with a soap-free cleanser, pat drying with a towel, and moisturising twice a day;
Refraining from picking off any dead/peeling skin as this may cause bleeding & discoloration, or even mild scarring;
Not exposing yourself to the sun without sunscreen for at least 6 weeks after treatment to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation (brown blotches). A high factor sunblock should be used daily to protect the skin (even on a dull or cloudy day);
If itching is severe during the healing phase, antihistamines may be recommended to help stop this;
Avoiding scratching or picking at the skin to reduce the chances of scarring;
Contacting your practitioner immediately if you notice any signs of infection, scarring or pigment changes.
How many treatments will you need?
Depending on the type of TCA peel chosen and discussed with you, the peel may need to be repeated. For lighter (superficial) TCA peels, this will usually be a course of 3 to 4 peels spaced about 2 weeks apart. For deeper (medium or deep medium) TCA peels, you may need only one peel, but another may be required after about 6 weeks.
The final results can be seen and assessed over a period of 4 to 6 months after the (final) peel, not before. During this time, the skin will produce more collagen and will become younger in structure, tighter and more elastic.
Who should not have a chemical peel?
If you have a history of problems with keloid scars (raised scars that grow out beyond the original site of injury) or other types of scarring of your skin;
If you have facial warts or any current facial infection;
If you have used the anti-acne treatment isotretinoin (brand name Roaccutane) within the last 12 months;
If you have darkly pigmented skin, or red hair with freckled skin. In such cases, you would generally be unsuitable for the deeper peels owing to the potential for skin bleaching.
Afro-Caribbean or Asian skin is often not suited to facial peels because of the risk of bleaching the skin. This is particularly the case with the deeper peels where the top layers of skin are removed.
What are the risks associated with chemical skin peels?
Peels are a commonly used form of skin rejuvenation, and the vast majority are carried out with no complications. Common side effects include:
Burning sensation and stinging
Redness - which can last for a few weeks
Peeling - it is important that you do not pick at or peel off the skin
Sensitive skin after the peel
Adverse effects from TCA skin peels are extremely rare, but include:
Infections or an out-break of cold sores - this normally only occurs in patients who have a history of such complaints, and antiviral medication may be recommended if such complications occur
Mild transient swelling of the face
Hypo or Hyperpigmentation - patients must use all after care products as directed and remember to use a high factor sunscreen (factor 50)
Scarring or keloids
Chemical skin peel facials at Fourways
Skin peel facials are carried out at Fourways by Dr. Aviva Riley.