One of the oldest cosmetic treatments in the world, a chemical peel is an acid-based solution that can minimize lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging by removing damaged outer layers of skin.
Who Should Get a Chemical Peel?
In general, fair-skinned, light-haired patients are ideal candidates for chemical peels. If you have darker skin, you may still benefit from treatment, but you will have a higher risk of uneven skin tone following your chemical peel.
What to Expect During Your Chemical Peel
The chemical peels we offer do not require anesthetic. Generally, your chemical peel will take about 15 minutes. Deeper peels may require more time.
Prior to your peel, a stringent cleansing solution will be applied to your face to eliminate grease or dirt from your pores. The cleansing agent may sting slightly, but this sensation will quickly pass. Next comes the peel solution. A chemical solution will be applied to the treatment area(s). You may experience a slight burning sensation as the peel is being applied. Several layers or “passes” may be be applied to deepen the peel. We can provide you with you a small fan to use to help with the stinging/itching sensation.
After about 10 minutes, the peel will be neutralized and removed with cool water. A calming mask will then be applied to your skin for a few minutes. This will help your skin recover from the chemical peel.
The healing time depends on the type of peel used during the treatment. Most patients begin to peel 2-4 days after the procedure. Shedding of the skin typically lasts for 3-4 days. You should be able to return to work the same day with light and medium peels. After a deep peel you may choose to take a couple days off work or work from home if you’re able.
A chemical peel can treat:
- Acne and acne scarring
- Sun damage
- Fine lines
- Dark circles
- Enlarged pores
Chemical peels use acids to exfoliate the skin and they come in many concentrations. We offer peels that contain alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid all at varying strength levels.
Your chemical peel will be custom formulated to address your specific areas of concern. After a chemical peel, your skin will look healthier, smoother, and more youthful. The final results will be determined by the number and strength of your peel(s). Chemical peels are most commonly used to treat the facial region. However, they can also be used to rejuvenate other areas of the body including the chest and back.
At Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we offer the following chemical peels:
- SkinMedica: Illuminize, Vitalize, or Rejuvenize
- SkinCeuticals: MicroPeel Sensitive, MicroPeel 20, MicroPeel 30, MicroPeel Plus 30, and the Advanced Corrective Peel
- ZO Skin Health: Stimulator, 3-Step
After Your Treatment
Your recovery will depend on the strength of your peel. Lighter peels can lead to slight redness and peeling for a few days. Many patients liken this sensation to mild sunburn. Deeper peels will cause redness, swelling and peeling for up to two weeks. Ice packs and pain medication can be used to reduce discomfort. We will provide you with specific directions for cleansing and moisturizing during recovery.
You will need to protect your skin from direct sunlight for up to two weeks. After a light chemical peel, new skin will begin to develop in three to seven days. Deeper peels require up to two weeks. The amount of downtime required will depend on the strength of your peel. Light peels do not usually require time off from work. Deeper peels often require several days of recovery. More than one treatment may be needed to reach optimal results.
Understanding the Risks of a Chemical Peel
Some risks associated with a chemical peel may include swelling, redness, acne, flaking, itching, uneven skin tone and discomfort. All of these risks will be discussed in-depth during your skin care consultation.
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