Chemical peels can transform your skin from dull and dry to youthful and radiant. Dermatologists recommend this treatment to correct a number of skin issues and renew overall texture. If you’re doing some research before your appointment, here’s what happens before, during, and after a chemical peel.
A chemical peel facial treatment removes dead cells from the surface of the skin to reveal new skin underneath. A dermatologist applies a chemical solution to the skin to exfoliate this top layer. However, medium and deep chemical peels remove dead skin cells from the inner layers as well. This treatment can be used to address several skin concerns, including:
Your dermatologist will tell you if you’re a candidate for a chemical peel. This treatment is generally best for improving mild issues. If you have deep wrinkles or severe pigmentation issues, the dermatologist will likely recommend treatments like dermal injections and laser treatments instead.
It’s also important to discuss your medical history with your dermatologist. This includes any medical conditions you might have and all of the prescriptions you’re taking. They will use this information to determine whether a chemical peel is a healthy option for you.
Your dermatology provider will give you instructions to prepare for your treatment. You will need to stop using skin care products that include ingredients like retinoids (Retin-A, Differin, Renova, Tazorac), benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid five days before your appointment. The doctor may also ask you to avoid using products like facial scrubs, masks, and self-tanners. It’s important to protect your skin from sun damage before your chemical peel, so apply SPF daily.
Be sure to arrive at your appointment without makeup and with clean skin. In some cases, dermatologists will prescribe antibiotics prior to a chemical peel.
Most chemical peels take about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the depth of the peel. The appointment starts with skin prep. Before applying the chemical solution, the dermatologist will first cleanse your skin and cover your eyes and hair. They will then apply the solution to your skin using a tool like a brush or sponge. This solution contains an exfoliating acid, like glycolic or salicylic acid. You might feel a slight stinging sensation while the solution is on your skin.
After leaving the solution on your skin for a specific amount of time, the dermatologist will neutralize and remove it. They will then apply a cool compress to your face to soothe the skin. If you had a deep peel, you might be prescribed pain medication to take at home.
The aftermath of a chemical peel also depends on the depth of the treatment. Mild treatments can result in redness and swelling for up to a week. You will likely experience some flaking as well. Medium and deep peels will result in more redness and swelling. The skin might also crust and flake, which can last up to two weeks. Be sure to call your dermatologist if you are concerned about any side effects.
Aftercare is key to staying comfortable and getting the best results following your peel. Your dermatologist may recommend skin ointment to soothe the area. Medium and deep peels might require pain medication. You should avoid the sun and refrain from wearing makeup as long as your dermatologist recommends.
If you’re interested in learning more about chemical skin peels, book a consultation with Pacific Dermatology Specialists. Our team of professionals is proud to offer a variety of medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services in Montebello, CA and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to get started.