Chemical Peels: What to Expect, What They Correct and More
Chemical peels are performed to restore and refine the look of the skin. Read further for what to expect and how to heal.
A chemical peel involves the controlled scraping away of the damaged layers of skin, typically on the face. It can correct several skin conditions and reverse some of the signs of aging.
Before deciding if a chemical peel – also known as a derma peel – is right for you, do your research. Be sure there isn’t an alternative that’s more appropriate for your skin condition or skin type – such as laser treatments or microdermabrasion – and discuss your concerns with Dr. Steve Ahmed during your consultation.
What does a Chemical Peel Treat?
Several signs of aging can be minimized with a chemical peel, as well as other skin conditions. Some of the benefits include a chemical peel’s ability to:
- Reduce and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nose and mouth
- Improve the balance and tone of the skin
- Decrease discoloration
- Reduce the appearance of dark areas resulting from pregnancy or the ingestion of birth control pills
- Treat certain forms of acne
- Improve the appearance of minor scars
- Decrease the prominence of sun spots and other UV-related problems
People with lighter skin typically respond better to chemical peels, but people with darker tones can find success, as well – there is a higher risk of patchy coloring in patients with darker skin tones, however.
How is a Chemical Peel Performed?
The skin will be thoroughly cleansed before the procedure. Then, a chemical solution is applied to the areas of concern. The eyes and hair will be protected, and the chemical solution can vary among technicians. It may include ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, phenol and lactic acid. The process is controlled, and the solution is left on for a very exact amount of time, just long enough to remove the damaged layers of skin.
Is a Chemical Peel Painful?
Most patients report a burning, stinging sensation that is short lived. Following the procedure, your skin will be red and tender.
How do I Heal after a Chemical Peel?
Healing will take different amounts of time depending on the depth of the peel. In most cases, the skin will begin to scale and flake off within seven-to-ten days. With medium to deeper peels, you may experience some swelling that can be controlled with medication and cold compresses.
Some peels require bandaging, and you will be required to keep the areas covered clean. Avoid sun for as long as your doctor recommends, and keep the skin moisturized. Your doctor will prescribe a topical ointment or recommend over the counter creams.
Are There Risks Involved with Chemical Peels?
Risks are few and can be minimized by Dr. Steve Ahmed, who is highly experienced in performing derma peels. There is a risk of permanent discoloration, scarring and the recurrence of cold sores if you’ve had them before.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Steve Ahmed will discuss all possible risks, which will vary based on your areas of concern and skin type, the details of the procedure and what you can reasonably expect to see in with regard to results. Be sure to ask questions and go into your procedure educated and comfortable.