A chemical peel is a procedure to improve the look and feel of your skin. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to “blister” and eventually peel. After these top layers of skin are removed, the new skin that grows back is smoother and softer.
Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, sun-damaged or discolored skin, and scarring. A chemical peel may be performed as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other cosmetic procedures to obtain a wide variety of results. Chemical peels can be performed on the face, neck, or hands.
Chemical peels are used to:
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes
- Reduce lines or wrinkles around the mouth
- Diminish wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
- Diminish age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or birth control pills
- Improve the appearance of shallow scars and acne scarring
- Treat certain types of acne
- Improve the general look and feel of skin
Types of chemical peels
A light or superficial chemical peel is often used to treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. It removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis). A light peel can be repeated every two to five weeks.
After a light chemical peel, the skin will be red, dry, and mildly irritated. Your skin may require one to seven days to heal and your new skin may look lighter or darker temporarily.
A medium chemical peel is used to treat wrinkles, acne scarring, and uneven skin tone. It removes skin cells from the epidermis as well as from portions of the upper part of your dermis, the middle layer of skin. The procedure may need to be repeated to achieve or maintain the desired results.
After a medium chemical peel, the skin will be red and swollen. Stinging and sensitivity are common. Ice packs and over-the-counter pain-relief medication may help reduce any discomfort. As your swelling diminishes, the treated skin will begin to form a crust. They also may darken or develop brown spots or blotches. The areas will require seven to 14 days to heal after a medium chemical peel. Redness may take several months to fade, but cosmetics may be used to cover after five to seven days following the treatment. The treatment skin cells at even deeper levels of skin than a medium chemical peel. Results are obtained in a single treatment.
After a deep chemical peel, the skin will be very red. Burning and throbbing sensations are expected. The skin will also experience significant swelling. Eyelids are sometimes swollen shut following a deep chemical peel. Our doctor will apply a surgical dressing to treated skin and we may also prescribe a pain-relief medication. The treated skin will need to be soaked and ointment applied several times each day for about two weeks. New skin will develop within approximately two weeks after a deep chemical peel. Redness in the skin could last for months. Once new skin completely covers the treated area, you will be able to use cosmetics to conceal any redness. Your new skin may appear darker or lighter than it did previously, and may not have the ability to tan. It is common to require follow-up visits after your treatment so that we can monitor your healing.
What does a chemical peel involve?
Your skin will be thoroughly cleaned. Our doctor will apply one or more chemical solutions to targeted areas of your skin. During the application, most people experience a burning sensation lasting five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation.
While chemical peels are a great option for many people, the treatment may not be right for everyone. Chemical peels can't remove deep scars or wrinkles or tighten sagging skin. Our aestheticians may recommend an alternative treatment to help you best obtain your desired results. We want to help you look and feel your best. Contact us for a free consultation today.