Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are exfoliants derived from fruit and milk sugars such as glycolic acid (produced from sugar cane and lactic acid produced from milk). They cause the cells of the epidermis to become loose, allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and making room for re-growth of new skin. They are often found in products used for wrinkle reduction or lessening the signs of aging and can improve the overall look and feel of the skin.
The procedure involving these acids used by dermatologists today is known as a ‘chemical peel‘. These help remove undesirable signs of skin aging, such as discoloration, roughness and wrinkling. The chemicals cause the skin to lose its outer layer, or peel off, revealing a fresher-looking layer of skin.
It is an ideal treatment for busy people who are unable to take time off work for a deeper peel or laser resurfacing. AHA facial peels gently retexture the skin over a period of a few months. The treatments are also helpful when it comes to stabilising oily or acne-prone skin and improving skin tone.
Chemical peels can provide the following:
- Correct (sun) damage.
- Reduce mild scarring.
- Reduction or eradication of wrinkles.
- Improvement of dark skin discoloration.
- Remove excessive or stubborn blackheads.
- Temporarily reduce excessive skin oils. If you suffer from any of the above, this treatment may be the right one for you.
A chemical peel takes about 15 to 20 minutes. It is usually repeated at one to two weekly intervals as it is superficial and thus, recovery is rapid. The face is cleansed thoroughly and then the peel solution is applied for three minutes. You should keep in mind that it stings mildly. The solution is then washed off.
Essentially, AHAs penetrate the top layers of the skin, epidermis and upper dermis, to achieve exfoliation (sloughing of old skin cells). Exfoliation stimulates the skin and healthy cells are regenerated. This effect is essentially “anti-aging.” The new skin that emerges is smoother and softer with an overall lessening of fine wrinkles and skin discoloration. The hydroxy acids are also used to improve scaling, precancerous growths (actinic keratoses) on sun-damaged skin.
After The Treatment
Treated skin may be a little pink immediately after the procedure. A little peeling may occur over the next few days. It can be disguised with moisturizer or normal make-up.
Make sure to ask your HCR surgeon concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking this surgery. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else.
Some of the risks related to a chemical peel procedure are:
- Excessive redness and peeling of the skin
- Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin color)
- Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin color)
- Scarring In order to keep the risks at a bare minimum, please make sure that you follow your surgeons instructions at all times.