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What to Expect During a Chemical Peel

chemical peel

December 18, 2020

Over time, you may realize that your skin is no longer as youthful as it used to be years ago. Fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots are getting more visible. Acne scars and hyperpigmentation are getting more stubborn. While there’s no magic pill that can decrease these wrinkles and dark spots, chemical peels can help remove your skin’s imperfections. 

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is the latest buzzword in the beauty and skincare industry, with about 1.36 million chemical peeling treatments in the US in 2016. It is an FDA-approved skincare treatment that aims to bring back the youthful glow of your skin by removing skin impurities such as dead skin cells. The procedure includes applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove its outermost layer. This solution will make your skin blister and then peel off. After the treatment, your skin will be renewed, smoother, and skin imperfections such as discoloration, wrinkles, and acne scars will be minimized. 

There are three types of chemical peel treatments with varying depths and addresses different issues:

  • Light chemical peel – this chemical peel will only remove the outermost layer of the skin or the epidermis to treat wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dull skin. Peeling may be expected for two t0 five weeks.
  • Medium chemical peel – this type of chemical peeling solution aims to remove the epidermis from the portion of your dermis. Medium chemical peeling may require several sessions for the best results.
  • Deep chemical peel – this type of chemical peeling solution aims to remove skin cells from the skin’s deeper layer. This is recommended for individuals with deep acne scars or wrinkles or skin conditions with precancerous growth. 

What to expect during the treatment?

Chemical peeling treatment is an outpatient procedure done inside your doctor’s clinic or in a hospital. Few weeks before the procedure, it is recommended to use retinoid cream to help boost healing. The chemical solutions to apply on your skin may be glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol). 

During the treatment process, you may feel a stinging or burning sensation on the skin’s treated area. A pain relief medication or a cold compress may be helpful to manage it. After the treatment, skin blisters or sunburn may appear. Then over time, scaling will appear, followed by the peeling process. For Medium Chemical Peel, you may need to repeat the process every six to 12 months until you achieve the desired result.

Avoid sun exposure because your new skin cells are still fragile. You should also avoid using cosmetics for the first few weeks as the chemicals in them might irritate your skin and delay skin healing.

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