AHA Chemical Peels
at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic in Kent
Chemical peels are procedures that are used by Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic Kent specialists to improve the appearance of the skin.
An Alpha Hydroxy chemical peel (AHA chemical peels) is a type of chemical peel that uses Alpha Hydroxy acids to bring about the necessary improvement in the skin’s texture and appearance.
An AHA chemical peel is the application of Alpha Hydroxy acid to the skin to achieve a controlled wound (or blisters) to the top layers of skin (epidermis). The chemical peel is used to address these skin conditions:
- small shallow scars
- discolourations on the skin, such as freckles or age spots
- fine lines that form on the face, especially around the mouth
- areas of sun damaged skin and spots of precancerous keratoses
Chemical peels can be applied to the whole face or to an isolated area that needs to be treated and improved, such as the upper lip. On the other hand, a full-face chemical peel is usually done as a separate procedure before or after eyelid surgery, or a face lift. Chemical peels cannot be done in the sensitive skin that surrounds the eyes. The type and concentration of acid that is used in difference chemical peels will control the depth of the burn used to achieve superficial, medium, and deep peels.
Alpha Hydroxy Chemical Peel
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are a group of acids usually found in fruit, sugar, sour milk, and other products that are processed using bio-fermentation. The alpha hydroxy acids’ most important work is as an exfoliant, which causes the cells of the skin (epidermis) to become unattached to the deeper skin layers, so that outer most layer of dead skin cells can be sloughed off; this in turn will encourage the re-growth of younger-looking skin. AHAs cam also help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, providing extra protection and strength for the cells of the skin. The result is skin that is smooth in appearance and texture. There are currently numerous topical formulations and skin care products that include AHAs, because of the benefits that can be produced by the acids’ exfoliation properties.
The following are the types of AHAs that are usually used in chemical peels:
- Glycolic acid – derived from sugar canes
- Citric acid – derived oranges and lemons
- Tartaric acid – derived from grapes
- Malic acid – derived from apples and pears
- Lactic acid – derived from milk
Glycolic acid is the most popular and most widely used in the types of AHAs used for chemical peels, and can be mixed with the other AHAs to get the desired chemical peel combination.
AHA Chemical Peel Procedure
The entire procedure of applying the AHA chemical peel solution is not expected to last more than 10 minutes. To achieve the desired end-result, periodic AHA chemical peel treatments may be necessary; some patients are recommended to apply facial creams or facial wash that contain AHA to get the desired results.
After the AHA chemical peel procedure, the treatment is expected to affect the skin like sunburn. The skin will most probably become dry and red, and will eventually start to flake and peel; the flaking of the skin is expected to end after about five days. Most people can immediately go back to their normal activities after the AHA chemical peel procedure. The doctor may prescribe a pain reliever to alleviate the discomfort that can be produced by the accompanying stinging sensation. It is important to stay away from direct exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, as the regenerated skin will be extremely sensitive and fragile.