Chemical peels are an effective way to rejuvenate your complexion. When performed by a board-certified dermatologist or registered aesthetician, they can target and treat a range of skin concerns, including fine lines, dullness, melasma and sun damage, acne and uneven texture.

Peels can be done on the face, neck and hands at different strengths according to patients’ needs. They work by removing old, damaged skin cells to reveal the healthy, more radiant skin beneath.

  • Light (superficial) Peel Designed to penetrate the outer layer of skin, light peels use a mild alpha hydroxy acid to provide a gentle exfoliation.
  • Medium Peel These are for targeting the outer and middle layer of skin to remove damaged cells, often using glycolic acid or trichloroacetic
  • Deep Peel Trichloroacetic acid or phenol are used to penetrate the middle layer of skin more thoroughly for a deeper exfoliation.

Getting a Peel: What You Need to Know

During a peel, a chemical solution is applied to the face. Topical or local anesthetic is applied to prevent pain. For deep peels, however, sedation is generally required. A procedure lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.

Before scheduling a peel, it’s important that you haven’t been on medication, such as Accutane, for at least six months, and you should refrain from using retinoids for at least 48 hours before your appointment.

As far as aftercare and recovery are concerned, this also depends on the type of peel that was performed. Both light and medium peels take up to a week, with medium peels swelling and crusting before the new skin is revealed.

Deep chemical peels will result in inflammation, redness and a burning sensation. New skin will take around two weeks to develop, but spots and flaking can last for weeks and redness for months. This is why following the aftercare instructions given to you by your dermatologist is crucial. Use the prescribed skincare products, avoid makeup and stay out of the sun until the skin is completely healed to reveal a fresh new face!

Set Up Your Appointment With a Dermatologist Today

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