How Effective is a Chemical Peel for Hyperpigmentation?

chemical peel for hyperpigmentation

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A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure in which skin doctors use chemical solutions to remove the uppermost skin layer. Ideally, this procedure helps treat hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tones, wrinkles, etc., on the face. Based on your skin condition, your skin doctor at an aesthetic clinic JB, can determine which type of chemical peel will be best suited for you. This blog will further discuss the effectiveness of chemical peels for hyperpigmentation.

Chemical Peel Based On Depth

The depth of peels depends on the concentration of the acid. Your skin doctor will determine the depth of chemical peels to be used based on your skin concerns. For example, light peels can treat your dark spots. However, if you want more visible results, your doctor may prescribe deeper peels with higher acid concentrations. Let’s discuss them further.

  • Light/superficial chemical peel – It helps remove the outer skin layer or epidermis. Skin doctors use this procedure to treat hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, fine line, etc. Based on your condition, your doctor may provide light chemical peels every two to five weeks.
  • Medium chemical peel – It helps remove skin cells from the epidermis and some portion of the upper part of your middle skin layer or dermis. Skin doctors use this procedure to treat wrinkles, uneven skin tone, acne, etc. Your doctor may provide multiple treatment sessions to maintain the results.
  • Deep chemical peel – It targets the deeper skin layer. Your skin doctor may suggest this treatment for deeper scars, wrinkles, or precancerous growth. Ideally, you will not require repeat procedures to achieve the desired result.

Types of chemical peel for Hyperpigmentation

Your doctor at a skin clinic in Johor Bahru might use the following chemical solutions in their chemical peel procedures.

Glycolic Acid Peel

Glycolic acid is an Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that skin doctors use to treat dark spots. This chemical peel is comparatively milder than other AHA peels and, therefore, safe to use with minimal side effects. As it doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin, it is mainly used to treat hyperpigmentation on the skin surface. Besides, these chemical peels are also suitable for dry skin patients.

Salicylic acid peel

It is a Beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) peel used to treat dark spots. This chemical peel is also safe to use with minimal side effects. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory properties and is best suited to treat dark spots resulting from inflammation, such as acne. In addition, these chemical peels are suitable for oily-skinned patients.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel

These are used in medium to deep peels to treat hyperpigmentation effectively. Your skin doctor will adjust the acid concentration based on your hyperpigmentation type to deliver the desired result. Since it penetrates deeper into the skin than other peels, it is suitable for patients with deeper melanin deposits.

Lactic acid peel

It is an AHA peel that is even milder than glycolic acid peel. Since it doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply as glycolic acid, it is ideal for lighter pigmentation. Patients with sensitive skin can receive this treatment without experiencing skin irritation.

chemical peel

How to prepare before, during, and after a Chemical Peel

You can consult a skin specialist in JB to learn more about this treatment procedure and what outcome to expect. Before providing a chemical peel, your skin doctor will likely do the following.

  • Review medical history – You must inform your skin doctor about your present and past medical conditions. Besides, you should inform them about the medications you are taking or have taken recently. In addition, they should also be made aware of any cosmetic procedures that you have undergone.
  • Physical exam – Your skin doctor will check your skin condition to determine the type and depth of chemical peel best suited for you.
  • Have informed expectations – You should talk to your skin doctor about the results you wish to achieve with chemical peels. For example, you can ask them about any concerns about the number of treatment sessions you might need or how long it will take for you to notice visible results. Moreover, it is also better to be aware of possible risks this treatment might cause.

Before A Chemical Peel

Once the consultation phase is over and your doctor has determined the type of chemical peel that would be ideal for you, they will likely advise you of the following preventive measures. Following these measures can help prevent possible complications. 

  • Avoid using tanning beds at least two weeks prior to your treatment. Generally, skin doctors advise avoiding tanning beds as they increase the risk of skin cancer and may even cause your skin to age faster.
  • Avoid sun exposure at least ten days before your appointment. In this regard, you may ask your skin doctor to advise you on a suitable sunscreen for better protection according to your skin type.
  • You should also avoid waxing your face seven days prior to your treatment.
  •  You should also stop using Retinol products 7-10 days before your treatment.
  • Skin doctors also advise stopping using aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for 7-10 days before the treatment.

During Chemical Peel

Light Peel

  • Your skin doctor will use a brush, cotton ball, sponge, etc., to apply the chemical solution to the affected skin. It will cause your skin to appear white.
  • You may feel a stinging sensation due to the chemical solution.
  • Next, your skin doctor will apply a neutralising wash or solution to remove the chemical on the treated skin.

Medium Peel

  • Your skin specialist will apply the chemical solution to your skin with the help of a cotton-tipped applicator. It will cause your skin to whiten.
  • After a few minutes, your doctor will apply a cool compress to help soothe your treated skin.
  • This treatment may cause a stinging and burning sensation for about 20 minutes.

Deep Peel

  • Firstly, your doctor will give you intravenous or IV fluids and closely monitor your heart rate.
  • Next, they will use a cotton-tipped applicator to apply the chemical solution to your skin. Your skin will appear white or grey.
  • Your skin doctor will carry out the procedure in portions with 15 minutes intervals. It might take approximately 90 minutes to perform a full-facial procedure.

After Chemical peel

After receiving the chemical peels, your skin will likely be sensitive. The reason is your skin doctor has removed your skin layers. Hence, you need to follow the aftercare advice of your skin doctor Johor Bahru to achieve the best possible results from chemical peel treatment. So let’s discuss them further.

Avoid strenuous exercises

Post-treatment, your skin doctor will likely advise you to avoid strenuous exercises. The reason is that sweat resulting from exercise can irritate your skin. In this regard, it is also best to avoid spas and saunas. You need to follow this precaution until your treated skin shows signs of recovery.

Protect your skin from the sun’s rays

 Now that your skin is more sensitive after the chemical peel treatment, you need to take better care to protect it from the sun. The reason is that the new skin layer is highly vulnerable to harmful sun rays. Hence, try to stay in the shade to avoid the sun. In addition, consult your skin doctor to know which sunscreen should be suitable for you during this time. Applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or more is better to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Use mild and soap-free cleansers

Another step to better care for your sensitive skin is to use a mild soap-free cleanser. These cleansers are safe to use on your treated skin and do not cause any dryness. Usually, a soap-based cleanser can strip your skin of moisture and natural oils, making them feel dry and tight. It is better to seek your doctor’s advice regarding the ideal cleanser for your skin.

Cleanse with cool water

As we have mentioned, your skin will be sensitive post the chemical peel treatment; using hot water on your skin can cause discomfort and inflammation. To avoid these situations, use cool water to wash your face to soothe your treated skin. Besides, you should always pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.

Avoid exfoliators

As a result of chemical peel, your skin will likely become dry and flaky. Therefore, it might tempt you to use an exfoliator to rub it off. However, despite your temptation, you must avoid facial scrubs as your skin is recovering. The reason is a chemical peel itself is an extreme form of exfoliation. Your skin doesn’t need any more of it. Hence, you should at least wait 3 days after the light peel treatment if you want to use a scrub so badly. This wait can be more than a few weeks for medium to deep peels. In this regard, follow your skin doctor’s advice regarding whether you should or shouldn’t use a scrub and how long you need to wait.

Do not forget to moisturise your skin

You should apply moisturiser on your treated skin to keep them hydrated and retain moisture. The product you select should be free of irritants and harsh chemicals. Otherwise, they might irritate your skin. In addition, ensure that you select a water-based moisturiser as it has high water content and is lightweight on your skin. If you are unsure of which product to use, ask your skin doctor about the same. They will recommend you a suitable moisturiser for your skin. It is also better to remember that using a moisturiser will soften your skin and reduces recovery time. However, when it comes to getting an even skin tone and treating hyperpigmentation, a little wait should not hurt.

Avoid peeling, picking or prodding

Avoid peeling or picking on loose skin as your skin is healing. During this recovery phase, it is natural for your treated skin to flake loose skin. However, if you interfere in the process, it can cause bleeding and even scarring. Therefore, allow your skin to heal in its own time.

Avoid Retinol

Retinol can effectively boost new cell growth and turnover. However, post chemical peel treatment, as your skin is already working to new skin cell growth, you need not apply retinol during this recovery phase. It is because it will cause an overload of cell turnover, which is unsuitable for your skin. Instead, wait for a few days before using Retinol products. Your doctor can advise you on how much time you need to wait after the treatment before you can use Retinols.

Give your skin a break

The proper way to care for your treated skin is to allow it time to heal. Let your skin repair itself from a chemical peel before you go for other skincare or cosmetic treatments. Your skin doctor may advise you to wait a few weeks before your skin is ready for other procedures.

Trust your skin doctor

It is better to follow your doctor’s advice for the best outcome from your chemical peel treatment. Based on your skin condition, they will offer you a set of customised aftercare instructions for your treated skin. It depends on the peel you received, your skin type, etc. They also will provide you with a list of products to use post-treatment to support proper healing and recovery and achieve optimal results.


A chemical peel helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, even your skin tone, improve its texture and even reduce fine lines. You may need to wait for some time or, in some cases, undergo multiple treatment sessions of light peel to notice visible results. The changes will be subtle at first and improve with time. For medium to deeper peel, you will likely notice visible results comparatively faster than light peel. However, you must remember that chemical peel results are not permanent, and you may require follow-up treatment to maintain the results.

Dermed Clinic is an aesthetic clinic JB that offers various cosmetic procedures to address various skin concerns. If you want to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and get an even skin tone, consult Dr. Muniandi of this clinic. Based on your skin condition, he can determine which types of chemical peel will be most effective for you.

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