Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin to make skin smoother, reduce scarring and remove blemishes. Ranging from mild to strong, there are three types of chemical peels: alphahydroxy acid (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol. The strength of each peel is tailored to the patient. Peels can be combined with other procedures, such as facelifts, for additional improvement to skin. Chemical peels may be covered by insurance if they are performed for medical rather than cosmetic reasons.
Chemical peels are performed in a plastic surgeon’s or dermatologist’s office, or an outpatient surgical center. Anesthesia is not required because TCA and phenol have anesthetic properties, and AHA produces only a slight stinging.
Chemical Peel Procedure
During a TCA or phenol peel, the skin is cleansed and the solution is applied, which may cause a brief stinging sensation. Petroleum jelly or a waterproof adhesive tape may be put on the skin following a phenol peel. During an AHA peel, the skin is cleansed and the solution applied; there is no need for post-peel ointment or covering.
Side Effects Of Chemical Peels
A phenol or TCA peel can result in tingling or throbbing, reddened skin, a crust or scab, and significant swelling that lasts, depending on the strength of the peel used, about a week. With a phenol peel, eyes may be swollen shut at first, and the patient may be put on a liquid diet and advised to keep talking to a minimum. Any tape used is removed after a day or two. AHA peels can cause temporary stinging, redness and irritation, as well as flaking or crusting. After a chemical peel, it is essential that the skin be protected from the sun.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel service is the application of a chemical peel solution to the skin to encourage exfoliation to smooth out the skin’s tone and texture. Many common peel solutions include Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid).
How long does a chemical peel appointment last?
Chemical peel appointments focus solely on the peel and will last approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the peel used, you may be asked to continue the peel process at home the following day. Your aesthetic provider will conduct a thorough consultation before treatment to provide you with all the details regarding your treatment.
Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?
All skin types can benefit from chemical peels. The type of peel used will determine the depth of peel and is always selected based on your skin type and concern. We have many different peel solutions available at Eye for Beauty Aesthetics, therefore, there is a peel appropriate for every skin type.
Can I receive a chemical peel while I’m pregnant and/or breastfeeding?
Unfortunately, we do not recommend pregnant and breastfeeding women receive chemical peel treatments. It is always best to wait until you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding before you receive any type of cosmetic treatments.
Are chemical peels painful?
The amount of sensation you feel during a peel procedure is dependent on your pain tolerance and the type of peel used. Many light-superficial peels are not painful and are well tolerated by clients. Medium depth to deeper peels however, penetrate deeper into the skin and do cause more discomfort. For these peels, clients are provided with fans to help calm the skin, or topical numbing agents can be used to minimize discomfort.
What are the side effects?
Chemical peel side effects are contingent upon the peel depth. Initially, your skin might appear red, shiny and tight. Throughout the next few days the skin will begin to crack, peel and flake. This process can last anywhere from 7-10 days and the degree to which skin flakes and peels is dependent upon the peel depth (i.e. deeper peels will tend to sheet peel, while superficial peels tend to mildly flake). Peeling skin should never be picked at or pulled, as this can cause hyperpigmentation on the skin. Instead, allow skin to freely fall off the face, or use a small pair of scissors to gently cut areas that are peeling off the skin.
Can I wear makeup after a chemical peel?
No, it is advised to refrain from using makeup and aggressive skincare products while your skin is actively peeling. You can resume makeup and skincare products once the skin has completely healed, around 10-14 days later.
Can I get a peel in the summer?
Summer is not an ideal time to receive a chemical peel. Heat, sun, and increased activity levels can cause adverse reactions to chemical peels. The best time to receive a chemical peel treatment is in the fall and/or winter while it is easier to stay out of the heat, sun and limit physical activity.
How should I care for my skin after a peel?
The best way to care for your skin after a peel is to wash your face twice daily with a mild, gentle face cleanser, followed by a mild, gentle moisturizer. Sunscreen must be worn during the day to prevent further damage from UV rays that cause hyperpigmentation. It is important to remember that your skin post-peel will be incredibly sensitive and should be treated with care to avoid adverse reactions. We recommend discontinuing aggressive skincare products for approximately 7-10 days post peel, and resuming these products once your skin has recovered from the peel.
How do I know what chemical peel I should get?
A thorough consultation with your aesthetic provider will determine what type and depth of chemical peel is right for your skin.