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Home >> Getting Informed >> Chemical Peels
Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can improve the appearance of:

  • Fine lines
  • Hyperpigmentation (skin discolouration or age spots)
  • Enlarged pores due to an improper daily skincare regimen
  • Light sun damage
  • Light freckling
  • Minimal scarring
  • Treatment for the face, arms, legs, neck, chest and hands
  • The Chemical Peel Solution

    Many types of chemical peels are on the market today. They may include just one chemical, such as glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid, or a combination of chemicals. These chemical solutions come in various strengths, and chemical peels are often classified as either a light or superficial peel, medium peel or deep peel.

    Your doctor will choose the appropriate strength and combination of chemical agents based on the condition of your skin.

    The Chemical Peel Procedure

    Chemical peels are performed in a doctor's office. Deeper peels require anesthesia, but lighter peels often do not. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, then one to three weeks of recovery.

    The number of treatments varies among individuals. Results can last up to several months.

    During the procedure, the chemical solution is applied to the affected area (usually over the entire face). The chemical agents then work to separate and "peel" the outer surface layers of the skin. These layers often contain dead skin, which is removed during the process. The chemical agents stimulate the generation of new skin cells through the healing process.

    During the application, you may experience a cool, warm or hot sensation that can last for 10 minutes or more. You may also feel a stinging sensation.

    Recovery After Your Chemical Peel

    To promote healing and reduce the risk of complications, follow the directions of the treatment provider very carefully. You'll likely be told to avoid all makeup and stay out of the sun for up to two weeks. You will need sunblock with an SPF of 15 or higher before you go outside.

    Your skin's reaction to a chemical peel depends on many factors, including skin type and peel strength. During the first two weeks the skin may break out until it is renewed at the end of recovery. Additional reactions can be similar to sunburn.

    Lighter peels can produce redness and skin peeling for a few days. Deeper chemical peels can result in blisters that burst, scabs or skin peeling for up to two weeks. This may be accompanied by swelling.

    If you have a severe reaction, your doctor may prescribe ointments, creams, oral steroids or dressings. The treated skin is highly susceptible to injury, so take care of it.

    The treatment provider will recommend a daily skincare regimen that is essential to the healing process. Be sure to follow the regimen and report any problems that result from the peel or from the new skincare regimen.

    The aging process, including new fine lines and age spots, will continue over time. A maintenance program of chemical peels may be part of your long-term plan.

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