Chemical peel for dark skin is a common dermato surgical procedure performed without any surgical instrument.
Chemical peeling or chemexfoliation is the application of one or more chemical agents on to the skin resulting in dry desquamation or moist maceration followed by its exfoliation and subsequent resurfacing of the epidermis along with remodelling of collagen and elastic fibres and the deposition of glycosaminoglycans during the repair process in the dermis.
The idea behind chemical peel for skin rejuvenation is to wound the skin to bring it to a desired level, which is deep enough to cause exfoliation of the layers, while being superficial enough to allow regeneration from the appendageal structures and papillary dermis through wound healing, and promote skin rejuvenation.

FORMULATION USED:

1. Trans-retinoic Acid Peels: These peels belong to a class of retinoids (nature and synthetic derivative of vitamin A), which are used to treat dilated pores, fine wrinkling, actinic damage and ageing, rough skin and superficial trauma scars. They act by combining with retinol receptors and taking part in the epidermal cell regulation.

2. Combination Peels
These cause deeper penetration up to upper reticular dermis (medium-depth peels) and are used to treat dilated pores, fine wrinkling, actinic damage and ageing, rough skin and superficial trauma scars. The healing phase lasts for 7-10 days and these can be repeated once in 2 months.

MECHANISM OF ACTION OF PEELS

The outer skin layers are removed through keratolysis and kerato coagulation. In keratolysis, the peeling agents such as glycolic acid or lactic acid penetrate through stratum corneum, break the intercellular desmosomal band and disrupt the keratinocyte cohesion. In kerato coagulation, the peeling agent such as TCA destroys the surface cells through protein denaturation and keratinocyte coagulation. Most of the very superficial peels primarily cause epidermal wounding whereas medium and deep chemical peels cause both epidermal and dermal wounding.

STAGES

1. Coagulation and inflammation
2. Reepithelialization
3. Granulation tissue formation
4. Angiogenesis
5. Collagen and matrix remodeling

1. Dilated pores
2. Fine wrinkling
3. Moderate actinic damage and ageing
4. Superficial trauma scars
5. Rough skin

Contraindications:

1. Active infection (herpes labialis/bacterial)
2. Open cuts
3. Patient on photosensitive drugs
4. Non co-operative patient
5. Unrealistic expectations

Pre procedure
Selection of the depth of the peel required
Determine the colour complexion (fair, wheatish, semidark, dark) Assess the depth of the lesions (epidermis, dermal, or both)

2.Priming
Preparing the skin for the best chemical peel for skin rejuvenation is an important part of the procedure, as it help to certain better topical results. This can be achieved by using certain topical drugs at least 2 weeks prior to the planned day of the peel.

Sun Protection

Sun restriction with minimum sun exposure.
Use of hat, cap, scarf, umbrella, etc.
Sunscreens - Broad spectrum sunscreen blocks both ultraviolet A(UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
Patients are advised to abide the above instructions for at least 10-15 days, prior to the peel.
Working professionals should plan the procedure ahead of a weekend because the skin peels for 2-3 days after the procedure.

Procedure:

Peel -
Peeling agent is applied on the full face gently.

Reaction:
Takes several minutes to appear and consists of erythema, blanching, and white frosting. Frosting is caused by denatured proteins of the skin.
Appearance of uniform white coast of frosting is a good sign.
The water is wiped off the eyelids and the patient is asked to open his/her eyes.
Patient then continues to dab cold water till the burning sensation subsides.
Rubbing is to be avoided, frosting disappears and normal skin colour returns in about half an hour’s time.

Post-peel

At home: Cold water/ice compresses or calamine lotion are given for drying and soothing. Promote epidermal desiccation and separation for the first 24-48 hours and restrict emollients.
Day 1 and 2: Skin becomes dark brown-black, desquamates completely in 5-10 days (there are early and late peelers).
Once skin starts peeling, there is a sense of tightening and cracking. Apply emollients and keep the skin moist.
On completion, underlying skin is erythematous. Protection from sunlight with sunscreen and moisturizers is advised for 1-2 weeks.
Use of a very mild soap on face is recommended.

Schedule:

No set rule, no limit to the number of light peels.
Once in 3 weeks, for 6-10 sessions.
Maintenance, as and when required.
In case of partial recurrence the patient shall go for additional light peels, at necessary intervals.