13 07 chemical peels face skin treatmentDescription: Chemical peels are an accelerated form of exfoliation, where a chemical agent (common forms include glycolic acid, kojic acid or salicylic acid) is applied to the skin to cause an even and controlled shedding of layers of damaged skin cells.

How it's done: Ranging from superficial to deep, chemical peels begin with an assessment of the thickness of the patient's skin, the peeling agent to be used and its concentration, the application technique to be used and how the skin will prepped prior to the procedure. Milder peels (like a glycolic acid peel) are generally made up of alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids and are great for acne, fine lines, textural improvements and mild pigmentation. Although not as widely practised nowadays, a deeper peel (like a phenol peel) requires analgesics and is ideal for deeper wrinkles and scars, discoloration of the skin due to sun damage and smokers lines around the mouth. Depending on the depth of the peel, the sensation can range from mild tingling to a burning feeling. Taking approximately 45 minutes, the treatment's downtime will vary, depending on the depth of the peel. Recovery for gentler glycolic peels is about half an hour. For kojic and salicylic acid peels recovery can take two to three days. For phenol peels, it may be up to three weeks.

Complications: The deeper the peel the greater the risk of complications, such as infection, scarring, post inflammatory hyperpigmention or hypopigmentation. Patients prone to cold sores will also experience an activation of sores, and the deeper the peel the larger the area affected. Post-peel patients may also experience sensitivity to sunlight or overheating and are advised to moisturize and avoid pulling at the dead skin during the healing process.

Recovery: Ten to 14 days.

Cost: From $100 to $3,000 depending on the type of peel.