Chemical Peel FAQ

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. The skin that grows back is smoother. With a light or medium peel, you may need to undergo the procedure more than once to get the desired results.

Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, discolored skin and scars — usually on the face. They can be done alone or combined with other cosmetic procedures. And they can be done at different depths, from light to deep. Deeper chemical peels offer more-dramatic results but also take longer to recover from.

Why it's done?

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure. Depending on the issues you're addressing with the procedure, you'll choose a chemical peel in one of three depths:

  • Light chemical peel. A light (superficial) chemical peel removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis). It's used to treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone and dryness. You might have a light peel every two to five weeks.
  • Medium chemical peel. A medium chemical peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and from portions of the upper part of your middle layer of skin (dermis). It's used to treat wrinkles, acne scars and uneven skin tone. You might need to repeat the procedure to achieve or maintain the desired result.
  • Deep chemical peel. A deep chemical peel removes skin cells even deeper. Your doctor might recommend one for deeper wrinkles, scars or precancerous growths. You won't need repeat procedures to get the full effect.

What does prepping for a chemical peel entail?

Before getting a chemical peel, some patients need to follow a pre-peel skin care plan for 2 to 4 weeks. This plan can improve results and reduce potential side effects. Your service provider will tell you whether this is necessary.

Discontinue use of all topical:

  • Vitamin A derived products such as, retinol, retin a, tretinoin, adapalene (differin gel), tazarotene, and bexarotene
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide 48 hours prior to your facial

What happens during a chemical peel?

  • On the day of your peel, you will first be prepped for the treatment. Alcohol is used to perform a step known as degreasing the skin.
  • After you are prepped; During a light chemical peel: Your service provider will use a brush, cotton ball, gauze or sponge to apply a chemical solution typically containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. You might feel mild stinging while the chemical solution is on your skin. Your service provider will apply a neutralizing solution or wash to remove the chemical solution from the treated skin. During a medium chemical peel: Your service provider will use a cotton-tipped applicator or gauze to apply a chemical solution containing trichloroacetic acid, sometimes in combination with glycolic acid. The treated skin will begin to whiten. After a few minutes, yourservice provider will apply cool compresses to soothe treated skin. You might also be given a hand-held fan to cool your skin. No neutralizing solution is needed, however. You might feel stinging and burning for up to 20 minutes.
  • After the peel comes off, your skin will be treated as needed. Usually by applying an appropriate Gorgeous Rx hydrator/moisturiser and the Dual Defense Sunscreen.

What to expect after a chemical peel

Dermatologis/Physician Assistant performed chemical peels

  • Healing time: Light peel 0-3 days skin may be slightly pink or red, scaly, tight and dry feeling. Medium peel 1 to 7 days skin will be red. After the redness disappears, scaling may develop, which lasts 3 to 7 days.
  • At-home care: Lotion or cream applied until the skin heals, followed by daily use of sunscreen.
  • When to wear makeup: Usually immediately after the peel, but sometimes the next day.
  • Use the moisturizer as directed to keep your skin moist and supple. If your skin dries and cracks, it can scar.
  • If your skin burns, itches, or swells, contact your dermatologist. Rubbing or scratching skin treated with a chemical peel can cause an infection.
  • Do not use a tanning bed or other type of indoor tanning. Your skin will not heal properly.

When will I see the results?

Once your skin heals, you will see the results. Healing time ranges from 1 day for a light peel to 14 days or longer for a medium peel. To get the results you seek from a light peel, you may need to have 3 to 5 peels.

How long will the results last?

Most results are not permanent because our skin continues to age. If you have lots of sun-damaged skin or precancerous skin growths called AKs, you will likely continue to see new spots and growths on your skin.

What are the possible side effects?

In the hands of a doctor who has experience with chemical peels, side effects tend to be mild. Some patients develop:
Persistent redness that may last for months.
Temporary darkening of the skin.
Lighter skin color (medium and deep peels). Scarring (very rare when peel performed by a dermatologist).

If serious side effects occur, it is often because the patient did not follow the dermatologist’s instructions. Your risk for developing an infection or scarring increase dramatically if you:

  • Fail to protect your skin from the sun.
  • Fail to care for your wound as instructed.
  • Scratch the treated skin or pick off a scab.
  • Apply makeup before your skin heals.
  • Don’t heed your dermatologist’s advice and use a tanning bed or other type of indoor tanning.

When is it safe to have another chemical peel?

To maintain results, you can repeat mild and medium chemical peels. Your dermatologist can tell you how often you can have a repeat treatment. A person can have only one deep peel.

What is the safety record for chemical peels?

Dermatologists have been performing chemical peels for more than 50 years, with an excellent safety record.

Even people who have skin of color can safely have a chemical peel — but they should see a service provider who has expertise using chemical peels to treat darker skin tones. Without this knowledge, people who have skin of color (i.e., African American, Asian, Latino) can develop permanent pigment problems.

Contact Us

Appointment Request

Our Locations

Hours of Operation

Monday

7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesday

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesday

7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Thursday

7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday

7:00 am - 12:00 pm

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Monday
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
7:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed