Chemical Skin Peels

What are these and how can they help?

A chemical peel is a procedure that consists of provoking accelerated skin regeneration in a controlled manner through application of acids that act on different layers of the skin.

Chemical peels can be classified into four levels, depending on its depth of action, which in turn correlates with the nature and intensity of the lesions they treat.

Highly Superficial (Superficial Stratum Corneum) – Increases uniformity of skin tone for a more luminous appearance. This is achieved using a mild 20% glycolic acid

Superficial (epidermal to basal layer) – Stimulates epidermal growth by removing the stratum corneum. This causes skin to flake in a similar way to that occurring after excessive exposure to the sun. This is achieved using Glycolic acid, Azelaic acid, Mandelic acid and Salicylic acid.

Medium (papillary dermis) – Medium peels affect the papillary dermis, causing significant flaking by inducing superficial dermal inflammation. It completely removes the epidermis, which then renews until fully regenerated. This is achieved with a TCA peel (trichloroacetic acid)

Deep (reticular dermis) – This leads to an inflammatory reaction of the reticular dermis, inducing collagen and elastin fibre reconstruction. This is achieved using Phenol and should be performed in a hospital setting only.

What are the benefits of chemical skin peels?

  • Purify and oxygenate the skin, leaving it moisturised and free of impurities.
  • Close open pores, improve the texture of the skin and increase thickness of the epidermis.
  • Address the effects of skin aging, softening wrinkles and adding turgidity
  • Unify skin tone, add luminosity and smooth cutaneous imperfections.
  • Lighten and attenuate pigmented lesions, providing a depigmenting effect.
  • Reduce the manifestations of acne and improve the appearance of scars.
  • A course of 3 peels at least 2 weeks apart are recommended for superficial peels.
  • TCA peels are usually done every 6 months for best results
  • Results are visible after 2-4 weeks

What are the side effects of chemical skin peels?

Redness – this occurs as part of the normal healing process as the skin regenerates after being exfoliated by the peel

Blistering – a peel can sometimes reach deeper layers of the skin resulting in blister formation similar to a burn. This is usually self-resolving

Flaking and peeling – this is a normal occurrence after a peel as the epidermis and superficial dermis is shed.

Hyperpigmentation – part of the skin may become darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation). Pigmentation problems are more common in darker skin and can be permanent

Scarring – This is rare but can occur in certain people.

What is the downtime with chemical skin peels?

Superficial Peel – few hours

Superficial to Medium Peel – 2 days

Medium Peel – peeling starts in 2 days and usually settles in 5-7 days

How long do the results of chemical skin peels last?

Superficial Peel – 6 weeks

Superficial to Medium Peel – 3 months

Medium Peel – 6 months

How much does a chemical skin peel cost?

Superficial Peel – £100

Superficial to Medium Peel – £200

Medium Peel – £300

Chemical Skin Peels vs. Laser

A medium level peel such as TCA has a similar effect on the skin as laser. They both aim at removing the top layers of skin allowing new undamaged skin to take its place. Laser is about 3 x more expensive but has the advantage of targeting different areas of the face. This means that some areas can be treated superficially while others more deeply. A peel provides a more blanket approach by treating the entire face. Laser provides more control is targeting the depth of skin tissue whereas a peel can sometimes penetrate deeper in skin overlying the bone.



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A few months ago I went to Dr Usman Qureshi for a wrinkle reduction treatment, I was so delighted with my treatment, I even took my mum and sister along with me this time so we could all have the treatments together. My mum had never had the treatment before and so was a little nervous, Dr Q put her at ease right away and carried out the procedure quickly and professionally. We are all delighted with the results and looking and feeling fabulous! Thanks Dr Q, see you soon.

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0141 573 1473
3rd Floor  |  227 Ingram Street  |  Glasgow  |  G1 1DA

0141 573 1473
3rd Floor  |  227 Ingram Street  |  Glasgow  |  G1 1DA

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