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- Chemical peel facts
- What is a chemical peel?
- What are the different types of chemical peels?
- What are the benefits of chemical peels?
- Are at-home or over-the-counter chemical peels as effective as professional chemical peels?
- Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?
- Who should not get a chemical peel?
- What are risks, side effects, and dangers of chemical peels?
- How do specialists perform chemical peels?
- How does one prepare for a chemical peel?
- What sort of follow-up care is needed after a chemical peel?
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What are the different types of chemical peels?
Chemical peels are broadly defined by the depth of damage in the skin that they produce. They are categorized as superficial, medium, and deep. Superficial peels do not damage skin below the epidermis, the most superficial skin layer. Medium peels may reach to the superficial layer of the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin. Deep peels generally reach the deeper layers of the dermis. The depth of damage depends on the nature and concentration of the chemicals in the peeling solution and the length of time they are permitted to interact with the skin. Popular chemicals in peeling solutions include retinoids (tretinoin dissolved in propylene glycol), alpha-hydroxy acids (lactic acid and glycolic acid), beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), trichloroacetic acid, and phenol (carbolic acid). Jessner's solution, a combination of resorcinol (14 g), salicylic acid (14 g), and lactic acid (85%) in ethanol (95%), is also an excellent peeling agent.