Looking for a more permanent way to improve your skin before your late summer vacation? We thought so. Dreading those close-up family photos (and hundreds of selfies) should not come in the way of enjoying your time for rest & relaxation. If you have not yet experienced the magic of a chemical peel, it might be time for you to learn more about this incredible treatment.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is exactly what it sounds like: a chemical solution is applied to your clean skin, using an applicator, until your face is covered with the product. The chemicals will cause the outer layer of your skin to mildly blister and then peel away.
There are several types of chemical peel: light, medium and deep, each designed to treat different types of skin conditions.
What conditions does it treat?
Chemical peels are meant to wholly improve your skin by shedding its outer layer, often riddled with sun damage, discoloration, blemishes and signs of aging. By removing the damaged skin, you find a layer beneath that simply glows.
Light chemical peels can remove fine, superficial wrinkles, but medium and deep peels explore other skin conditions as well. This procedure is great for treating the following symptoms:
- Fine lines around the eyes and mouth
- Sunspots, age spots and freckles
- Deep wrinkles (often caused by sun exposure or simply aging)
- Acne scars
- Blemishes and acne
- Uneven texture
How long is the procedure?
A chemical peel typically lasts ten to twenty minutes, depending on the solution used on your skin. Most patients say they do not feel pain during the procedure, only mild burning and sometimes stinging. However, the sensation is worth the dramatic results and revived skin you can enjoy after your treatment.
What is the downtime like?
While there is no “downtime” after a chemical peel, there are things you may want to keep in mind when scheduling your treatment. The burning and stinging you feel during the procedure may carry on afterward, especially with a deeper peel. Using a cold compress or over the counter pain medication can help to ease this discomfort.
After your chemical peel, your skin will react similarly to a sunburn, and you will notice redness, blisters, scaling, and peeling. These are all normal reactions and will carry on for one to two weeks, depending on how quickly your body heals.
As your healing continues, it is important that you avoid exposing the treated skin to direct sunlight. For the first couple of months, your skin will be thinner and more susceptible to sun damage, so be sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and invest in a wide-brimmed hat for days outside.
Who should NOT consider a chemical peel?
While a chemical peel may provide benefits for all skin types, patients with darker skin are at risk of experiencing more discoloration following the peel. Fair skin types typically have more success with this treatment.