Dark spots can be very embarrassing and lead to low self-esteem. They are usually caused by over-production of melanin in your cells that displays as dark pigmentation on the surface of your skin. There are numerous treatments for the dark spots. Many swear by natural, home-made remedies while others are more in favor of chemical peels and laser treatments. Chemical peels are catching on among women at a high speed but do they really remove dark spots?
What are chemical peels anyways?
Techniques based on acid solutions used to make the skin look shinier, younger and even-toned are what we call chemical-peels nowadays. The solution exfoliates the skin, brightens it and naturally stimulates the reappearance of new skin. There are 3 different types of chemical peels: superficial/lunchtime peel, medium peel, and deep peel. They all contain different acids and also vary in strength which is why they all have specific body parts where they’re allowed to be put and frequency at which the technique can be administered.
Are chemical peels effective against dark spots?
Right off the bat, we can say that chemical peels significantly help when it comes to varying skin problems including dark spots. The solutions usually involve alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol. All of these, when applied to the skin, lead to complete rejuvenation that includes smoother skin, its vibrancy, and fading dark spots. This technique that originates from ancient Egypt is more cost-effective than laser treatments but still, guarantees success.
Superficial Chemical Peels
These are the mildest among the 3 types of peels. They contain Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid that are based on fruit enzymes. Mixed with other mild notions, it is left to stay on the skin long enough to reach the epidermis, make the dead skin shed off and reveal new skin. Consequently, it will give skin a lighter shade and will fade the spots. It is used for deeper skin peelings and treatment of minor skin problems such as discoloration, acne, surface scarring, fine lines and sun spots. First moderate improvements in dark spots can be seen in a matter of 5 days.
Medium Chemical Peels
This type of treatment is the best when we’re targeting one particular spot. It uses an acid that stays for fifteen minutes on the skin before being removed. Noticeable improvements will be visible after a week or so and patients usually add other prescribed treatments for the best results. What is worth noting is that the medium chemical peels are more invasive than the previously mentioned one and therefore, their frequency should be decreased.
Deep/Phenol Chemical peels
The carbolic acid used in this technique is the most aggressive compared to other techniques. It is used to cure serious sun damage on your skin, including dark spots, but also other serious skin imperfections such as blotchiness and even pre-cancerous growths. This is a procedure that is done only once. The reason for this is that the effect is so intense that you can see improvements right after the procedure. Phenol peels are not used for a single spot treatment and are applied to the whole face.
Does removing dark spots with chemical peels have any side effects?
This is also one of the questions patients ask when they decide to undergo this treatment. Overall, the treatments do not have any major consequences, regardless of the type of the peel. You may experience some stinging and numbness as well as redness after the treatment but they’re not long lasting especially when it comes to superficial and medium peels. The aftermath of the phenol peel is the most painful. Your face will be swollen and red and a crust will be formed on the treated skin which will disappear in a matter of 10 days.
Not everyone is suited for each peel type!
The process of preparation for any skin treatment includes thorough consultation with your dermatologist. He/She will determine your skin type and the gravity of the dark spots as well as their origin. Usually, all skin types are allowed to be treated with superficial peel because they’re the mildest one and won’t have harmful effects.
For people who want visible, long-lasting results without a long healing process, medium peels are perfect. They’re intended for all skin types and colors. Phenol peels are the ones that you have to be very cautious about. People with dark skin may want to avoid this because the treatment has very strong bleaching properties.
Also, if you have freckles, the results of the treatment will be very eye-catching because you’ll be left with spots a lot different than the color of the rest of the skin. The risk population that should avoid phenol peel includes persons with heart problems and the ones who would like to treat a particular spot on their face.
Chemical peels VS Laser treatment
This is an on-going debate among dermatologist and patients. What patients are usually interested in is the price of both treatments but they also question how long will the results last. According to some specialists, laser treatments have the edge because they have more efficiency at aiming individual dark spots. However, they say that chemical peels should not be neglected as an option to remove dark spots, especially when it comes to less serious discolorations