Chemical Peels with Dr Justine Kluk
What are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels vary in their formulation, strength and depth. The types of chemical peel used by a Consultant Dermatologist like me can help to remodel, restructure and rejuvenate the skin, reducing sun and age damage. Peels may also form part of the management plan for skin conditions such as acne, seborrhea (excessive oiliness), scarring and pigmentation of various types alongside prescription treatment.
Lighter peels can also be used to achieve an even-toned, brighter skin whilst ensuring that you can carry on with life as normal. These peels deliver active ingredients into the skin without extreme surface redness, discomfort, flaking or peeling as expected from traditional peels, meaning that downtime can be kept to a minimum.
How do they work?
After cleansing and preparing the skin, the chemical peel solution is applied to the areas to be treated and left in contact with the skin for up to a few minutes before being removed or neutralised. During the procedure, the patient may feel a mild to moderate stinging sensation. This is normal and is closely monitored on a minute by minute basis. With the milder peels you may not feel anything at all. If you are having a higher strength peel, a stinging sensation should be expected. It is not particularly painful however, with discomfort scores typically ranging from 1 to 5 out of 10 depending on the individual. The peels used in my clinic contain MSM, an anti- inflammatory ingredient, which means that any stinging or uncomfortable sensations can be quickly controlled.
What can chemicals peels be used for?
• Refreshing the skin
• Evening skin tone
• Smoothing fine lines
• Reducing oiliness
• Acne and blackheads (in certain individuals)
• Scarring and stretchmarks
• Some types of sun damage
• Pigmentation (in certain individuals)
After a peel you may notice that your skin is flushed, pink or red (almost like you have caught the sun that day) and your skin may also feel dry or tight.
At or around day 3 post treatment, you may experience some slight peeling or flaking. This is to be expected and will last 1 – 2 days. It is possible that you may have no peeling or flaking. If you don’t peel or flake this does not mean that the peel is not working as the system I use is designed to remodel from within with as little downtime and surface trauma as possible.
The chance of all of these side effects happening and how prominent they are depends on the type of peel you have and how reactive your skin is. Higher strength peels often show these side effects for a longer period of time as a stronger acid will have been used. In any event, it would be wise to plan your peel well in advance of any special occasions or travel, particularly if it is your first treatment so you can see how your skin reacts.
To get the best results from your peel and to help treat the side effects, you will be given specific aftercare instructions and told how many peels are necessary as part of your course, and how close together they should be performed.
It is important to wear SPF every day post-procedure for at least 2 weeks and avoid products containing retinoid, retinol, glycolic acid or any other exfoliating ingredients for the first week post-procedure. I also advise my patients to avoid these products for at least 7 days before their peel.
How long will the results last?
This all depends on a number of factors:
• The severity of your symptoms to start with
• Type of peel
• Whether you’ve had a single treatment or a course of treatments. You would normally repeat your treatment course on an annual basis, but some people top up every few months to maintain results.
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