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Peeling: results vary according to the depth of the procedure

Peeling: results vary according to the depth of the procedure

Peeling is every process in which there is the removal of the most superficial layers of the skin, be it with the use of a chemical, physical or laser. There is controlled destruction of part or all of the epidermis, with or without the dermis, leading to exfoliation and removal of superficial lesions, followed by the formation of a new dermal and epidermal tissue. Do you come from the verb in English? To peel?

With this removal, the skin is restructured and renewed, and there is stimulation of the production of collagen, a substance that gives firmness to the skin. This way, the peels are indicated for treatments of rejuvenation, spots on the skin, scars of acne, flaccidity, among other skin problems. But the result varies with the depth of the peeling done.

Other names

Surface resurfacing or pickling

Types of peeling

There are two ways to classify peels. The first is through its depth and the second through the type of material used to attack the skin.

Depth of peeling

Surface peeling The procedure comprises the use of acids such as hyaluronic acid, low glycolic acid, trichloroacetic compounds, retinaldehydes, salicylics; and also use appliances such as aesthetic ultrasound, aluminum hydroxide jets, special tips with gentle exfoliative properties or power and depth control and others.

The purpose of this superficial peeling is to remove the most superficial layer of the skin with discreet or no visible peeling, acting only on the stratum corneum and stimulating only the formation of collagen in the skin. In this way, it will improve the appearance, turgor and hydration of the skin, slightly lighten the tone of the skin, with the correct frequency and indication, can help in the improvement of the very superficial wrinkles,? Dry? pimples, accelerate skin response to treatment with creams, improve stains faster, etc.

Peeling medium The purpose of this peeling is to destroy and exfoliate the epidermis almost completely, in addition to the layer called cornea, and has as an indication the attenuation of fine and medium wrinkles and some types of skin patches more superficial and has the capacity to renew the outer layer of the skin, also stimulating the formation of collagen. It included treatments with trichloroacetic acid, for example, and also used glycolic acid in higher concentration, devices that literally squeeze the skin, with power adjusted to the higher layer of the skin, laser devices such as CO2 and erbium laser devices radiofrequency, etc.

This technique is theoretically tested for one to five years of skin rejuvenation, but the result will depend on prior preparation of the skin and indication. The results are highly dependent on the technique chosen.

Deep Peeling Also used are acids or devices for this procedure, one of the most famous features is phenol peeling. It is very complex in the pre-procedure skin preparation and the very procedure that often requires sedation, since a wound is made up of a part of the dermis. There is a much greater risk of infection, complications and depending on the technique, even the removal of the dressing requires high experience. It is calculated with this method, depending on the previous preparation of the skin, a rejuvenation of five to 15 years.

Type of process used in peeling

Physical peeling It is carried out by physical methods, in which it is made an exfoliation on the skin, causing a dermabrasion. Among them, they fit the crystal peeling, diamond peeling and microdermabrasion.

Chemical peeling It is the peeling done with the use of acids to attack the skin and peels it, such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, among others.

Biological peeling It is made with fruit enzymes and is usually more superficial. However, its use is questionable and does not have the approval of the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

Laser peeling It is made with devices, in the case of 1064nm lasers like the solon platform that heat the skin of inside out and stimulate the exchange of cells without flaking or irritating the skin.

Vegetable peeling Also called squeezing, it is a natural and vegetable method of peeling the skin, but it has limited performance, being a superficial peeling.

Indications of peeling

When removing a layer of skin, the peeling forces it to restructure and renew itself, in addition to stimulation of the production of collagen, a substance that gives firmness to the skin. Thus, peels are indicated for rejuvenation treatments, skin blemishes (such as melasma), acne scars, sagging, among other skin problems.

Professionals who can do

Peeling is a procedure that should be guided by the dermatologist. Superficial peels such as squeezing can be done by a beautician, but medium and deep peels are a medical procedure due to the complications and depending on the products used by the possibility of side effects and even intoxication. peeling

Before peeling, it is important to consult a dermatologist, who will evaluate the best peeling for each case and also indicate the necessary care according to the chosen method.

In general, it is important to take care of the protection not damage the skin. In addition, the use of softer acids for 15-30 days is usually indicated to prepare the skin for peeling, creams with retinoic acid, glycolic acid and hydroquinone are usually used.

Care after peeling

Care vary according to the peeling done, so the most important is to follow the guidelines of your dermatologist.

However, in every peeling, as the skin becomes sensitive for a while, it is important to strengthen the sunscreen by reapplying the filter every two hours. The use of products with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is also welcome.

The skin regeneration time varies according to the type of peeling. In superficial peels this time is usually up to five days, and the deeper types can take from 30 to 45 days for the skin to fully recover. In this type of peeling, prevention of bacteria and herpes viruses is important.


Peeling is contraindicated for people who do not have adequate photoprotection (athletes, fishermen). It should also be avoided by people being treated with isotretinoin in the last six months by decreasing tissue metabolism where the use of systemic retinoids increases collagen synthesis and reduces the production of collagenase, an enzyme that degrades collagen, which increases the risk of hypertrophic scar.

Whoever takes medications such as oral contraceptives, tetracyclines or corticoids that interfere with the inflammatory process, which is important for re-epithelialization, estrogens and oral contraceptives increase the risk of postinflammatory inflammation.

People with diseases of skin that affect collagen, such as lupus and dermatomyositis, should also avoid the procedure.

Pregnant can do?

Pregnant women are contraindicated to treatments such as medium and deep peels.

Possible Complications of Peeling

By degrading the skin so that it recovers and reorganizes itself, peeling can bring on some complications, especially if it is not. followed the necessary care after treatment. Among the possible complications of peeling, we can enumerate: pruritus, irritation, burn, edema, all of this just when the peeling is done.Later, other complications may appear:

Loss of cutaneous barrier and tissue injury, which can cause bacterial, herpetic and even candid infections

Abnormal healing, which can be delayed, milia and changes in texture

  • Alterations pigmentation, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, demarcation lines
  • Adverse reaction to chemical agents, such as acneiform eruptions, allergic reaction, toxicity
  • Spots and emergence of vines
  • Before and after peeling
  • Results they vary according to the type of peeling done:

In the superficial peeling there is improvement of the tone and texture of the skin, besides fine wrinkles and spots

In the average peeling also occurs the improvement of the actinic keratoses (those cones caused by the sun)

  • Deep peeling has better results, improving exuberantly the superficial and deep wrinkles, as well as improving the appearance and general appearance of the skin.
  • Sources
  • Dermatologist Ab of the Salomão Junior (CRM-SP 91.536), member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology

Specialist in dermatology Flávia Lira Diniz (CRM-SP 89.746), specialist of the Faciall Clinic and physician responsible for the Outpatient Facial Outpatient Clinic of the Brazilian Society of Medicine Aesthetics (SBME - SP)

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