Accredited Doctor - Skin Cancer College Australasia

Chemical Peels

Chemical Peel Gold Coast

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a treatment method used to enhance the quality of a patient’s skin, most commonly on the face, neck and hands and is an effective means of treating a wide variety of skin conditions. Chemical peels help to replenish skin cells, hydrate the targeted skin area, while also revitalising and reinvigorating the damaged skin, resulting in dramatically improved skin appearance. Chemical peels can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as skin needling, IPL photo rejuventation and photodynamic therapy (PDT), to achieve remarkable results.

What Skin Conditions Can It Treat?

Our medical grade chemical peels can be used to effectively treat the following skin conditions:

  • Fine Lines (forehead, between eyebrows, around eyes, above lips)
  • Wrinkles
  • Aging Skin
  • Pigmentation (uneven skin tone, dark/light skin patches)
  • Acne
  • Clogged Skin
  • Dry Skin
  • Dehydrated Skin

Types of Chemical Peels

We have a range of different treatment solutions available, each designed to remedy specific skin conditions for specific skin types. Each chemical peel falls into one of the three primary categories; superficial, medium and deep.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Peel – this superficial peel utilises the body’s lactic acid and is delivered at varying degrees of potency. Its main purpose is to delicately discard the top layers of the skin to promote collagen regrowth. Since lactic acid occurs naturally within the human body, the chances of receiving an adverse reaction to this type of peel are remote. AHA peels eliminate the outer layer of skin cells, which are responsible for pigmentation issues, skin tone imbalance and are a contributing factor to unwanted facial fine lines. AHA peels improve the effectiveness of the body’s ability to replenish and regenerate new, healthy skin cells.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Peel – these chemical peels are comprised of salicylic acid and are most commonly performed on patients that have oily skin types or skin which is susceptible to acne, as the BHA peels are able to permeate deeper and more successfully into this skin type. Beta-hydroxy acids typically contain bigger particles than their AHA counterparts and often do not work as well on ordinary skin types. For patients suffering from acne, some post treatment purification may be required; beta-hydroxy acids gently exfoliate the top layers of skin, which can expose lower-lying congested skins cells, causing them to flare up as pimples. BHA penetrates the skin pores and eliminates trapped oils and dead skin cells, greatly reducing skin irritation in the targeted area to create a much improved skin complexion.

Modified Jessner’s Peel – this chemical peel comprises several acids; salicylic, lactic, kojic and resorcinol. The potency (depth) of this peel depends on the amount of layers applied upon the patient’s skin. The targeted area becomes a pallid white colour following treatment, for a brief amount of time, which is caused by the presence of the kojic acid, which helps to lighten areas of the skin which are marred by pigmentation. This particular peel activates the lower lying layers of the skin, triggering the formation of collagen and fibroblasts, which smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The Modified Jessner’s Peel is an also an effective treatment for acne, hyperpigmentation and UV damaged skin.

Retinoic Acid Peel – retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin, is found in vegetables and animal products alike and enhances the body’s skin cell renewal cycle, making it function more like youthful skin and can also lessen DNA damage that has resulted from UV exposure. Retinoic acid triggers collagen growth, suppresses the expansion of bad bacteria, revitalises the immune system and restrains moisture located in the deeper layers of the skin. It also slows the aging process, improves the texture of the skin and helps create a more even and balanced complexion. Unlike other chemical peels, the retinoic acid peel requires you to leave the peel on for approximately 7-12 hours, before removing it with warm water. The peel itself has a faint, yellowish hue to it and is barely visible on most skin colours.

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel – a popular chemical peel that has been in use for a long time, the strength of the TCA peel can be altered to deliver a superficial or deeper penetrating treatment. At lower levels, it provides a superficial therapy that smooths the skin, reduces wrinkles and improves pigmentation. For the medium peel, the higher concentration allows for greater penetration of the skin, resulting in superior skin resurfacing, wrinkle reduction and pigmentation enhancement.

Which Chemical Peel Is Right for You?

There are several factors that determine which chemical peel is best for you:

  1. The severity of your skin condition
  2. Your skin type (oily, dry, light, dark)
  3. The results you would like to achieve
  4. The length of recovery time

Patients with darker complexions are more susceptible to adverse post-treatment complications, particularly concerning pigmentation. For this reason, we recommend a sequence of milder, superficial treatments, rather than a single deep peel.

The Treatment Process

All chemical peels performed at Skin Clinic Robina are done so by highly trained specialists and follow a strict procedure:

  1. Your skin is meticulously sanitised using a suitable cleanser
  2. An ointment such as Vaseline is applied to prevent the chemicals from entering your eyes
  3. The chemical peel is applied to your face
  4. We always request feedback from you throughout the treatment session, to ensure maximum comfort is maintained at all times
  5. The peel is dissolved at the end of the treatment session
  6. Sun cream and a soothing ointment is applied to your face

Minimising The Chances of Side Effects Occurring

Choosing the right chemical peel for your particular skin type and condition plays a vital role in limiting the number and severity of any side effects you may experience. Patients with darker complexions are generally more susceptible to pigmentation related issues when undergoing deeper chemical peels. The risks of developing pigmentation problems can be thwarted somewhat by using a melanin inhibitor such as hydroquinone along with tretinoin, which helps to alleviate hyperpigmentation that can occur after inflammation of the skin. This is especially crucial for patients with darker skin. Additionally, all patients are strongly advised to limit their sun exposure after their treatment, as UV light can increase the likelihood of pigmentation issues occurring.

Possible Side Effects

Generally, the deeper the chemical peel, the greater the number of possible side effects and the longer the rehabilitation. Superficial peels typically don’t attract any notable side effects and rehab time is minimal, but deeper peels require a greater level of pre-treatment preparation as well as post-treatment attention and often incur more side effects.

The list of known side effects include the following:

Swelling – typically only occurs with more potent peels; lasts for a few days

Skin Reddening – varies depending on intensity of peel. Patients who undergo superficial peels will typically experience minor skin reddening for a few days, while deeper peels may cause reddening that lasts for up to 30 days

Pain – generally only experienced by patients who undergo more intense chemical peel treatments; can last for a few hours

Itchiness – only prevalent for deeper peels

Eye damage – all patients must ensure that the peel does not enter their eyes

Allergic response – in rare cases, patients may have an allergic response to certain chemical peels

Folliculitis – an inflammation of hair follicles that manifests as pimples. Antibiotics may be needed to treat any outbreaks that occur

Bacterial infection – occurrence in patients is rare; most often experienced by those who undergo deeper peels

Herpes simplex virus – quite prevalent and must be dealt with using appropriate medication

Hyperpigmentation – dark portions of skin that appear over the treated area. This typically isn’t permanent, but can last for a couple of years. The effects of hyperpigmentation can be eased using a skin lightening substance

Hypopigmentation – a discolouration of the skin over the treated area which typically only occurs in patients who have darker complexions. There is a possibility that this won’t be temporary

Milia – tiny white bumps that may develop a few weeks after the skin has fully healed. These cysts can be discarded using a needle

Spider veins – red blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin that can intensify after a chemical peel. These are efficiently removed using laser technology

Demarcation lines – these are boundary lines that appear between the edges of the treated and untreated skin and may remain even after the treated skin has been fully rejuvenated

Scarring – only occurs in rare cases and is most commonly attributed to a patient’s history of healing deficiencies or keloid scarring. As with all other side effects, the more potent the peel, the more likely a patient is to develop scarring. A precursor to scarring is continual skin reddishness and itchiness. Scarring must be dealt with using a topical medication

Contact Skin Clinic Robina

If you are considering to undergo a chemical peel at our Gold Coast clinic, arrange for a consultation with one of our specialists today, who can explain everything you need to know about the procedure and help you choose the right chemical peel for your skin type and skin condition.