Peeling or exfoliation is a treatment that removes rough cells from the surface layer of the skin. This exfoliation can be done at different depths based on the physician’s medical needs and preferences. This technique is used to treat pimples, blemishes, skin rejuvenation, open pores and fine lines.
Chemical peels are done in different ways:
- Use of alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acids, or fruit acids, which are made in different percentages based on the patient’s needs.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) Thirty to fifty percent is used to exfoliate at medium depth.
- Phenol used for deep peeling.
The choice of peeling method varies based on skin color and type, as well as the depth of treatment.
Duration of action
The time required for peeling or exfoliation varies depending on the depth and type of peeling:
- In surface coatings with fruit acids, the required time is about 20 minutes.
- In medium layers with TCA, the required time is 1 hour.
- In deep layers with phenol, the required time is 2 to 3 hours.
Superficial exfoliation does not require anesthesia.
Moderate exfoliation is performed under local anesthesia.
Deep phenolic exfoliation is performed under general anesthesia.
Inpatient / outpatient status
Superficial exfoliation does not require hospitalization and the patient can return to daily work immediately after operation.
Medium TCA coatings require 24 hours of rest and dressing.
Deep phenolic coatings require one week of rest and dressing.
Possible side effects
Various peeling or exfoliating methods are used to treat pimples, blemishes, skin rejuvenation, open pores and fine lines.
On surface peeling with fruit acids, the patient will experience redness and slight burning. It should use regenerating creams for 3 to 5 days and avoid exposure to sunlight.
In the middle layer, the redness and swelling of the area are more severe with TCA, and crusts form on the treated area. The patient should use the remedies recommended by the doctor for 2 weeks.
In the deep layer with phenol, the patient should wear a special dressing for 3 to 5 days and avoid exposure to sunlight for 2 months.
After peeling or exfoliation, it is necessary to take care of the sun with standard sunscreens in the prescribed amounts and intervals. Failure to do so can result in lighter or darker spots on the skin, which is more likely to occur in dark skin.
Peeling or exfoliation is great for treating pimples, blemishes, skin rejuvenation and treating open pores.
Dr. Gholam Hossein Ghorabi
Specializes in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
Official member of the American Academy of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons (ISAPS)
Official member of Iranian Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons (ISPAS)
Born in 1966 and graduated:
a. Graduated from Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in general medicine
B. Has a specialized surgical board from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
J. Subspecialist in plastic, cosmetic, reconstructive and burn surgery from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences