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Chemical Peels

Before

Before

During

During

After

After

Chemical Peels and Your Skin

Chemical peels can improve the skin’s appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to

the skin, which causes redness and will eventually peel off. The new skin is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, or hands. They can be used to:

•Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth

•Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging

•Improve the appearance of mild scars

•Treat certain types of acne

•Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills

•Improve the look and feel of skin

Areas of sun damage improve after chemical peeling.

After a chemical peel, skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen every day. It

should say “broad-spectrum” on the label, meaning it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Limit

your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

 

 

Who Is a Good Candidate For a Chemical Peel?

Generally, fair-skinned and light-haired patients are better candidates for chemical peels. If you have

darker skin, you may also have good results, depending upon the type of problem being treated. But you

also may be more likely to have an uneven skin tone after the procedure.

Skin sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels. They may need other

kinds of cosmetic surgical procedures, such as laser resurfacing, a facelift, brow lift, eyelid lift, or soft

tissue filler (collagen or fat). A dermatologic surgeon can help determine the most appropriate type of

treatment for you.

 

 

Before You Get a Chemical Peel

Tell your doctor if you have any history of scarring, cold sores that keep coming back.

Before you get a chemical peel, your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain drugs and prepare your

skin by using other medications, such as Retin-A, Renova, or glycolic acid. The doctor may also prescribe

antibiotics or antiviral drugs.

 

 

How Chemical Peels Are Done

Work with your doctor to determine the depth of your peel. This decision depends upon the condition of your skin and your goals for treatment.

You can get a chemical peel in a doctor’s office. It’s an outpatient procedure, meaning there’s no overnight stay.

The professional who does your peel will first clean your skin thoroughly. Then he or she will apply one

or more chemical solutions — such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or

carbolic acid (phenol) — to small areas of your skin. That creates a controlled wound, letting new skin

take its place. During a chemical peel, most people feel a burning sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes,

followed by a stinging sensation. Putting cool compresses on the skin may ease that stinging.

 

 

What To Expect After the Chemical Peel

Depending upon the type of chemical peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following the procedure.

Peeling usually involves redness followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Mild peels

may be repeated at one to four-week intervals until you get the look you’re after.

Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling as well as blisters that may break, crust, turn

brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Medium-depth peels may be repeated in six to 12

months, if necessary.

You’ll need to avoid the sun for several months after a chemical peel since your new skin will be fragile.

 

 

Possible Complications

Some skin types are more likely to develop a temporary or permanent color change in the skin after a

chemical peel. Taking birth control pills, subsequent pregnancy, or a family history of brownish

discoloration on the face may make that more likely.

There is a low risk of scarring in certain areas of the face. Some people may be more likely to scar. If

scarring does happen, it can usually be treated with good results.

For people with a history of herpes outbreaks, there is a small risk of reactivating cold sores. Your doctor

can prescribe medication to prevent or treat that.

 

For more information about cosmeceuticals go here.