Chemical peel treatments are a type of chemexfoliation. Chemicals are applied to the skin in order to remove the outer layers of skin to improve overall skin function and enhance appearance. They work by bringing about controlled wound healing. Their action is to remove specific layers of the skin and therefore promote wound healing which stimulates cell renewal and helps in regenerating a healthier epidermis and dermis.
Most peels, particularly superficial peels, can be used in all skin types (Fitzpatrick I–VI. However, patients with darker skin types (IV–VI) have greater risks of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) and therefore it’s imperative that these skin types are assessed for the use of pre-peel products in order to stabilize their skin cells to avoid the increased risk of PIH.
Chemical Peels are often classified based on their depth of penetration into the skin, for example, very superficial, superficial, medium and deep. Very superficial peels penetrate the stratum corneum and possibly the upper layers of the stratum spinosum in the epidermis. Superficial peels penetrate the entire epidermis and possibly the papillary dermis. Medium depth peels penetrate through the entire epidermis and possibly the upper reticular dermis. Deep peels penetrate the mid-reticular dermis.