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Chemical peel

Chemical peeling removes the outer layers of the skin to leave your face looking younger, fresher and brighter.

It will remove some sunspots and rough scaly patches and reduces freckles and irregular pigmentation, such as liver or age spots. It also reduces fine wrinkles but it is not a substitute for a facelift. It does not tighten sagging skin, stimulate collagen production or remove broken capillaries. It is not appropriate for people who will have excessive chronic sun exposure-related skin changes.

Chemical peels are safest and most effective on the face and are often used in conjunction with other cosmetic treatments, such as eyelid lifts/eyebag removal (blepharoplasty) and fillers.


Mr Malhotra recommends taking two paracetemol tablets 30 minutes before the peel unless it is being done at the same time as another procedure under sedation or a general anaesthetic.

First, the skin is thoroughly cleaned and degreased. After cleansing, Mr Malhotra marks out your face in sections — your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin — so that the peel can be applied systematically.

The chemical, its strength tailored to suit your age and the amount of damage to your skin, is then applied. It is neutralised with saline solution as soon as it goes frosty — usually after 15-25 seconds.

Depending on the extent of skin damage and the part of the face being treated, the chemical may be applied more than once before it is neutralised.

Gauze swabs dipped in iced water are then applied to soothe the skin and minimise stinging.

Before chemical peel and eyebag removal

After the procedure

Before chemical peel and eyebag removal

After the procedure

What to expect

  • There may be some burning or stinging sensations for around 48 hours — a cold pack may help to alleviate this.
  • The skin will be red and swollen over the next 24 hours.
  • Once the burning sensation has worn off, there should be no pain but the skin will feel tight.
  • Over the next few days, the skin dries and looks like a shiny, brownish leather, as if you have been badly sunburned.
  • The skin will begin to peel between five and seven days after the treatment — it will come off patchily and must not be pulled off, or you could cause scarring.
  • Scarring is extremely rare and usually occurs if there is an infection or you pull off the skin before it is ready to fall off.
  • Sometimes a secondary peel occurs during the second week in the form of dry, scaly skin.
  • Cold sores can be activated in people who are prone to them — if this happens, you should apply anti-viral medication as soon as possible.
  • You may have some increased pigmentation (discolouring) at first but this generally fades over time.
  • Pigmentation can usually be avoided if you use a high factor sunscreen for at least three months.

All procedures begin with a consultation. For full information about what to do before and after surgery, see Patient information

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Eyelid lift — Blepharoplasty

Eyelid lift — Blepharoplasty — Patient information


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Lip filling and shaping

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