Chemical peels are non-surgical treatments used to rejuvenate skin. The process involves applying a chemical agent to the skin for a specified amount of time. The epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin, is then removed depending on the chemical’s strength and length of application. As a result, this creates controlled damage to the skin that stimulates collagen production, which can improve the overall texture of the skin. After the skin is cleansed, a chemical solution is applied which creates a controlled peel that removes old and damaged skin. The strength of the peel can vary from mild to intense, depending on the severity of the skin condition and the desired results.
After a chemical peel, the skin will be red, swollen, and likely sore. Due to the high-potency formulas involved, this is normal and is part of the regeneration process. The more aggressive the level of the peel, the longer the recovery will take. For mild treatments, expect peeling and redness for up to five days. For medium treatments, recovery will take up to two weeks. The redness and peeling you will see during recovery is the old, damaged skin peeling off to reveal fresh, healthier skin.
If needed, your aesthetician can prescribe medications for any discomfort. To ensure the best results after a chemical peel, you must protect your skin from the sun with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Protecting your skin from future sun damage will make the results of your peel last even longer. Courtney uses peels that use naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, and salicylic acid peels. These are very effective in battling acne and acne scarring.
Chemical peels1 are facial skin rejuvenation procedures that can treat superficial to moderate photoaging skin damage. Mild chemical peels can be applied to people in their 20s, to help prevent the effects of aging skin from becoming apparent too early in life.
In a chemical peeling treatment, a chemical solution is applied to facial skin, causing the skin to blister and peel off over a period of days. As the treated skin blisters and peels, new skin forms to take its place. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
A mild chemical peel is usually all that is necessary to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Patients with minimal skin damage often respond best to a series of light peels in combination with a skincare program including retinoids and a sunscreen protection program. A medium-depth peel is often more effective for patients with moderate skin damage, including age spots, freckles, and actinic keratoses. A medium-depth peel may be combined with another treatment such as laser resurfacing to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Depending on the objectives of the treatment, the condition, and type of the patient’s skin, and the degree of skin damage, Courtney can determine the strength of the chemical solution and the depth of the peel that is optimal for the patient. Peeling solutions may include one or more chemicals such as alpha-hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid, or carbolic acid. The procedure can be performed in the dermatologist’s office, or in an outpatient surgery center. In addition to skin rejuvenation, chemical peeling can be an effective treatment for some acne scars. Peeling does not remove deep scars.
The immediate after-effect of a chemical peel is similar to a sunburn. After a mild or superficial peel, redness and scaling of the skin last 3 to 5 days. Medium-depth or deep peeling can result in redness, swelling, blistering, and peeling for 7 to 14 days. Medications are prescribed to alleviate discomfort. Overexposure to the sun must be avoided for a period of time to prevent sun damage while the new skin is susceptible to injury.
Chemical peeling is effective only for surface skin damage and may not be appropriate for some skin types. Effects of aging in deeper tissues, such as sagging jowls and drooping eyelids, must be addressed by other procedures that can be recommended by your dermatologic surgeon.
Chemical peels2 can stimulate new skin production, creating a smoother and less wrinkled layer of skin. Chemicals are applied to the skin. The solution makes the skin peel off, exposing the newer, healthier, and less damaged skin.
Glycolic acid is the most widely recognized and used chemical peeling agent. It is a water-soluble acid that works to accelerate the turnover of skin cells, remove lesions, restore elasticity, and can help improve the moisturizing characteristics of the skin. There are a variety of different skin peel chemicals that are applied depending on the condition and type of skin being treated.
It is important to prepare the skin at least two weeks prior to the appointment. Those who are prone to hyperpigmentation should use a fading gel to decrease melanin production in the skin. Hyper-pigmentation is a condition that changes the skin unevenly that can leave blotches or discoloration in certain areas.
Chemical peels are generally better for those with fair skin and light hair because the solution will be able to create an evener skin complexion. Very saggy skin, bulges, and deep wrinkles may not respond well to chemical peels and need to consult with our aesthetician, Courtney, in order to receive a proper consultation. Certain skin conditions may be more effectively treated with different cosmetic procedures3, such as laser resurfacing.
Chemical peels take about 30 minutes in total depending on the type of skin that is being treated, however, all peels are performed in less than one hour, making it an ideal treatment for those with busy schedules.
Patients that undergo chemical peel treatments can go outside afterward, but it is important that sunscreen is worn at all times the days following. Sunscreen should always be worn regardless if you have just undergone a chemical peel, but it is very important for the health of your skin to protect it once it has this treatment. Skin will be more sensitive, increasing the skin’s susceptibility to sunburns.
The skin can be treated with chemical peels with three sessions every two weeks. Chemical peels that use glycolic acid complement products that contain glycolic acid can be used for at-home skincare.
A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure that involves the application of a chemical solution to the skin to remove the top layers. The result is a smoother and more even complexion. Chemical peels can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns, such as wrinkles, sun damage, scars, and discoloration. They can be performed on the face, neck, hands, and other areas of the body. Chemical peels can be light, medium, or deep, depending on the strength of the chemical solution used and the depth of the peel. The peeling process typically starts a few days after the treatment and can last up to a week.
A chemical peel involves applying a solution to the skin, which causes the outer layers to peel off, revealing smoother, more youthful-looking skin underneath.
Chemical peels can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns, including wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. They can also be effective in reducing the appearance of age spots, freckles, and melasma.
Superficial or light peels are the mildest type of chemical peel and are ideal for treating minor skin issues. Medium peels penetrate deeper into the skin and are useful for addressing more significant skin concerns. Deep peels are the strongest type of peel and are reserved for treating severe skin damage.
By following these steps, you can help ensure the best possible results from your chemical peel and minimize the risk of complications:
After a chemical peel, it is normal to experience some redness, dryness, and mild swelling for the first few days. You may also notice some flakiness or peeling of the skin, which can last for 3-10 days, depending on the depth of the peel. The type and depth of the chemical solution used will determine the degree of peeling and skin shedding.
It is important to avoid peeling, scratching, or picking at the skin, as this can lead to complications such as bleeding, infection, breakouts, and scarring. Instead, use a gentle moisturizer to soothe the skin and allow it to shed naturally. It is also recommended to avoid exfoliating the skin after a chemical peel, as it has already been exfoliated during the treatment.
The duration of a chemical peel’s effects can vary depending on the type of peel used and the individual’s skin type and condition. Generally speaking, light or superficial peels that use gentle components can produce results that last for one to two months. Medium peels, which use slightly stronger acids, can produce results that last for two to six months. Deeper peels, which are used for more severe skin conditions, can produce long-lasting and dramatic results that can last up to 10 years. These peels are however risky with a high incidence of scarring and infection. The longevity of a chemical peel’s results also depends on the individual’s skincare routine and sun protection habits, as well as any lifestyle factors that may affect the skin’s health.
The cost of a chemical peel can vary widely depending on several factors such as the type of peel, the depth of the peel, the provider’s level of experience, their practice location, and the size of the area being treated.
There are a few common recommendations that can help with the peeling process after a chemical peel. These include using a light moisturizer to prevent overdrying, avoiding exposure to the sun and other sources of heat, avoiding strenuous physical activity, and using a gentle cleanser. Additionally, cold compresses can help reduce discomfort and swelling.
It is tempting to try to speed up the peeling process, but doing so may be counterproductive and may lead to complications such as scarring or infection. Therefore, it is crucial to be patient and allow the skin to heal naturally.
Breakouts are a common occurrence after a chemical peel, especially if you have oily skin. The following steps can help treat breakouts and prevent further complications:
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