During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to skin, causing it to “blister” and then eventually peel off, leaving the skin underneath typically smoother and less wrinkled. The result afterwards is typical to that of a sunburn: minor redness and irritation, peeling and then scaling that occurs after several days. Medium-depth peels may develop blisters that break, crust, and fall off over a period of two weeks.
Typically, chemical peels are used to:
- Reduce fine lines
- Treat wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of scars
- Hide age spots, freckles and dark patches
- Enhance the look and feel of skin
- Reverse mild sun damage
The outcome of your chemical peel depends on your skin and the extent of your damage. Fair-skinned patients typically have better results from chemical peels. Those with darker skin may have good results, but also run the risk of having permanent discoloration of their skin. Sagging skin, bulges and deep wrinkles don’t usually respond well to chemical peels and may require further cosmetic procedures to treat effectively.
After your chemical peels, someone will need to drive you home. You may experience some pain and discomfort, so it’s important to take proper care of your skin once you’re home:
- Cold compresses can help relieve any burning associated with your peel.
- Bandages may be needed on parts of your skin that were treated — keep these on to your doctors recommendation and change as needed.
- Pain medication may be necessary after your procedure — try over-the-counter painkillers.
- The sun should be avoided for several months after the chemical peel, as your new skin will be very fragile and susceptible to UV rays.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor about the proper moisturizer and other skin products to use on your new skin.