What are the different types of chemical peels?
1. Glycolic acid or alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) peels
These very gentle treatments exfoliate the superficial layers of the skin and stimulate hydration, improving a dull or lifeless appearance. There is usually little or no actual peeling involved, but you may experience mild redness for half an hour afterwards. AHA peels tend to be undertaken weekly or fortnightly on an ongoing basis to keep your skin looking fresh.
2. Retinoic acid peels
Retinoic acid peels are slightly deeper than AHA peels and provide a greater rejuvenating effect. Recovery includes persistent mild redness and light flaking for a few days. Retinoic acid peels are usually undertaken on a fortnightly basis.
3. PCA peels
PCA peels contain bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone and resorcinol. They are best suited to treating pigmentation problems that result from sun damage, prolonged inflammation, or scarring. Afterward, skin may be red and flaky, as more significant peeling is experienced than with an AHA peel. PCA peels are undertaken every 10-14 days and usually several peels are required to fade pigment.
4. Jessner peels
Jessner peels are a mixture of salicylic acid and lactic acid. They are primarily used for mild acne, acne scarring and minor sun damage, where a deeper treatment is required. A Jessner peel has similar recovery time compared to a PCA peel, with more redness and exfoliation than a simple AHA peel. Fortnightly treatments are recommended.
5. TCA peels
TCA peels are medium strength peels performed only by ENRICH doctors. They achieve more profound skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing than other peels. TCA peels are recommended for more severely pigmented, sun-damaged or wrinkled skin. Recovery time is longer, although the results are more dramatic.
Some swelling may occur in the first few days, after which time the skin scabs, sheds and heals, usually over 7-14 days. Initially the skin will appear pink and fresh with normal skin colour returning over 1-3 weeks.
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