The best way to describe the main benefit of a peel is, STIMULATE.
Peels stimulate a number of reactions by exfoliating the superficial layers of the epidermis. This in turn has consequences on fibroblastic synthesis and angiogenesis, which take place in the papillary dermis and renew and revive the skin. A peel can also directly penetrate and act on the dermis which is a unique property of peels.
The benefits of peels were first noticed years ago by Egyptian women who noticed that the byproducts of grapes improved their skin, due to their tartric acid. They also noticed that milk baths made their skin softer, because of its lactic acid. In the Antilles Islands, women noticed that the use of products obtained from sugar cane made their skin softer, which was a result of the glycolic acid found in the sugar.
Today, years of research have created an arsenal of peels, from those which act superficially to those which are deeply penetrating, which treat a number of conditions, with little to no downtime.
The superficial peels are: glycolic acid peels, lactic acid peels, salicylic acid peels, kojic acid and TCA of low concentration. These peels will cause no or minimal exfoliation and will improve the texture, brighten the complexion, hydrate, and decrease fine lines in the skin. These treatments will restore the equilibrium between different cell types.
The INTERMIDIATE peels are primarily the TCA peels. These peels will improve deeper wrinkles, eliminate actinc keratotic lesions which are precancerous lesions, and improve the skin’s overall tone. These peels will repair the skin and revive all of the skin’s functions.
The DEEP peels like TCA 40% and phenol peels cause a dramatic result by practically liquefying the epidermis and strongly stimulating the dermis. The skin becomes very smooth, and lines are completely eliminated.
These treatments are extremely rewarding, but not without potentially severe side effects and if practiced should only be done by very experienced physicians. The most common indication is very wrinkled, thin skin which can lose about 10 to 15 following the peel.