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Chemical peels are liquids designed to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and promote new cell growth. They are used to improve the appearance of the skin, including reducing uneven pigmentation and acne.

There are three types of peel – superficial, medium and deep.

Superficial peels

Superficial peels are used to remove skin cells from the top layer of the skin (epidermis). They can be performed by some qualified beauty therapists as well as medical staff.

A superficial peel is only left on the skin for a few minutes. Afterwards, your skin may feel tight for a couple of hours.

The effects of superficial peels are only temporary, so regular treatment is needed to maintain the effect.

Medium peels

Medium peels are used to remove skin cells from both the top and middle layers of the skin (the upper part of the dermis). They should be performed by qualified healthcare professionals such as the staff at Venustas.

Medium peels are only left on the skin for a few minutes. You may experience a burning or stinging sensation during the application of the peel and the skin may go brown or red in the days after the peel. It can take up to six weeks for the skin to return to normal.

Treatment is required every six to twelve months to maintain the effect.

Deep peels

Deep peels affect the skin right down to the lower part of the dermis. The procedure should be carried out by a healthcare professional with relevant skills and experience such as the staff at Venustas.

local anaesthetic and a sedative may be needed during treatment. While the peel is applied, you may experience a “freezing” sensation. The peel can be left on the face for up to 30 minutes or more, depending on the desired affect.

There will be some peeling, redness and discomfort for a few days depending on the type of peel used. Some people experience swelling for up to two weeks and skin redness can last up to three months.

A deep peel is a “one-off” treatment with lasting effects, so it doesn’t usually need to be repeated.

What are the risks?

Chemical peels are usually safe treatments if performed by someone experienced and qualified such as the staff at Venustas, however there are some risks, including:

·     Your skin may appear darker or lighter than normal after treatment, which can be permanent

·     If you’ve had cold sores in the past, there is a chance the treatment could cause them to recur

·     You may develop scarring or an infection after treatment, although this is rare 

Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun as it heals, so you will need to use sun cream for a month or longer after treatment.

At Venustas we will advise you about necessary aftercare to reduce the risk of side effects and complications. You should seek medical help if you develop an infection after treatment.