How much do chemical peels cost

Chemical peeling: methods and application

Von, medical journalist
Updated on

It belongs to the standard of modern aesthetic dermatology and yet has a history going back thousands of years: Chemical peel was mentioned 3,500 years ago in the Ebers papyrus, the only completely preserved medical scroll from ancient Egypt. Today dermatologists have sophisticated methods to visibly beautify the skin with the help of chemical substances. Read more here.

Chemical peel: what is it?

A chemical peel penetrates the skin and causes the layers of skin to peel off. New, smooth skin is created underneath, which appears after the peeling process. Depending on what you want to achieve with the peeling, a superficial, medium-depth or deep chemical peel is recommended.

Superficial chemical peel

Superficial chemical peels are comparatively gentle as they only remove the top layer of skin (epidermis). Fruit acid peelings fall into this category. In particular, they can remove skin imperfections and lighten slight pigmentation disorders. Here you can find out more about how fruit acid peelings work: Fruit acid peeling

Medium depth chemical peel

A medium-deep chemical peel with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) has a more intensive effect. Small wrinkles around the mouth and eyes can also be successfully treated with it. The TCA peeling penetrates about 0.45 millimeters into the so-called papillary dermis.

TCA used to be used in a 60 percent concentration for peeling. However, this often resulted in uncontrolled scarring. That is why dermatologists now only use 35 percent TCA and combine this with other substances such as glycolic acid to ensure the necessary penetration depth.

Deep chemical peel

Deep chemical peelings with phenol or a higher concentration of trichloroacetic acid have the greatest effect against pronounced wrinkles. At the same time, this form of peeling is also the most complex procedure. The risk of undesirable side effects is correspondingly higher than with more moderate peelings.

Deep and medium-depth chemical peel work according to a similar scheme. However, deep chemical peel penetrates much deeper into the skin and causes major injuries that require intensive follow-up treatment.

Deep chemical peel: procedure

There are several steps that are taken with a deep chemical peel. We introduce them to you.

Before peeling

In order to accelerate later wound healing, some specialists treat with botulinum toxin (Botox) around two weeks before the peeling appointment. This will calm the facial muscles so that the skin can heal faster after the exfoliation.

Pre-treatment with acidic creams is also common in order to reduce the skin irritation during the actual treatment due to the habituation effect.

During treatment

During the peeling session, the doctor rubs the phenol mixture with a cotton ball or swab on the face, chin, lips and eyelids so that there are no color contrasts later. Because the new skin does not initially have any pigmentation.

The phenol now penetrates 0.6 millimeters deep into the reticular dermis. After a few minutes, so-called frosting sets in: the skin turns white as a result of the released, destroyed protein molecules. This is painful, which is why many doctors sedate their patients or put them into a twilight sleep before starting treatment. After about 15 minutes, the treated skin begins to redden and the pain subsides.

After the peeling

After the end of the treatment, you will receive a tape dressing that protects the face for 24 hours. The experts then treat the wound daily with fatty creams and emulsions.

After about three days, the skin begins to die, it turns dark brown and puffs. A widespread injury occurs to which the skin reacts by forming new cells. In this way, the entire upper layers of the skin are renewed within the next two to three weeks.

Risks and Side Effects

Deep chemical peeling is a complex, semi-invasive form of treatment. It should only be done by an experienced specialist. Possible side effects include cardiac arrhythmias during treatment. Because phenol can affect the heart muscle when used over a large area and cause cardiac arrhythmias. Specialists therefore recommend applying the phenol to the skin as slowly as possible.

The risk of infection with subsequent scarring is also increased, given the large, oozing wound surface that results from deep peeling. Careful, professional wound care by the attending physician is therefore imperative. However, if you are prone to increased scarring, you should generally refrain from deep chemical peeling.

Chemical peel - cost

Whether superficial, medium or deep - you have to pay the costs for chemical peeling yourself. Because the health insurance companies only pay for services that are indicated for medical reasons. However, exfoliation is first and foremost for cosmetic purposes. The exact amount will only be revealed after a clarifying discussion with the specialist in charge. In principle, however, you can count on this budget:

  • Superficial chemical peeling: 60 to 150 euros
  • Medium-deep chemical peel: 500 to 1,000 euros
  • Deep chemical peel: up to 1,500 euros

Peeling and peeling methods

If you would like to find out more about peeling and peeling methods, please read on here: Peeling, fruit acid peeling, enzyme peeling.

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