A chemical peel is a procedure performed to improve the appearance of skin. Chemical peels remove the dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. This stimulates young, healthy new skin cells to come to the surface to improve the texture of the skin as well as help improve skin tone. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne, oily skin and enlarged pores are frequently improved with multiple treatments.
What will the procedure feel like?
The treatment area will be wiped with pre-peel solution and then the chemical peel solution will be applied. Mild to moderate stinging at the treated site may be experienced which will diminish when the peeling agent is neutralized and resolves in several minutes. A fan may be used during the procedure to cool the skin and relieve some of the discomfort.
Do I have to do anything to prepare in advance?
Discontinue use of any topical retinoids (Retin-A, Tazorac, Differin, Ziana, Epiduo, Tretinoin, Clear Plus, Avene Retrinal or Triacneal, Triluma, etc.) and mechanical or granular exfoliation for 5 days prior to treatment. Avoid facial waxing for 7 days prior to treatment.
Follow the recommended skin care regimen as directed by your service provider for treatment. Make sure your skin is not irritated or inflamed before a peel.
Please tell your provider if you have a history of cold sores as we recommend pretreatment to prevent a flare. Treatment may not be performed if there is an active cold sore.
What will I look like afterwards?
Downtime is dependent on the type of chemical peel performed. Skin may appear flushed followed by possible peeling 1-5 days post treatment or dark brown followed by 7-10 days of peeling. The amount of peeling can vary from invisible microscopic peeling to more noticeable dry skin flaking. Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area, especially during the first 3 days following treatment. Cleanse with a gentle cleanser (Cetaphil or CeraVe) and apply a bland moisturizer as needed. Do not apply any lotions with retinoids, acids, enzymes or Tea Tree oil for 3 days post treatment.
Avoid direct sun exposure. Daily application and of a minimum SPF30 sunblock with Zinc Oxide should be used after a chemical peel. Reapply when out in the sun every 1 hour or more frequently if swimming or sweating. Sun exposure may compromise results or result in additional pigmentation.
How many treatments are necessary?
Depending on your goals, your aesthetician will work with you to customize a treatment plan. Chemical peels are rarely recommended as a single treatment service. They are most effective when received in a series of treatments spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
When will I see results?
Results will vary per patient and realistic expectations will be discussed during your first treatment. Having a good at home regimen will help attain optimum results. In addition, smoking, excessive alcohol and excessive sun exposure will limit results. Results are less dramatic when chemical peels are utilized for prevention and maintenance (treatments spaced greater than 1 month apart) than when utilized in a more frequent, treatment oriented protocol.
Who cannot have the treatment?
A chemical peel is safe for all skin types and colors. Patients who have taken isotretinoin (Accutane) within the previous 6 months cannot have the treatment. Communication with your provider is key in determining which peel will best suit you based on your skin type and concerns.