What to Expect
Chemical peels remove the top layer of damaged skin cells, revealing smoother, softer skin underneath. Chemical peels can help to improve skin hydration by removing the top layer of dead skin cells and allowing moisturizers and other skincare products to penetrate more deeply. are three types of chemical peel categories: superficial, medium, and deep. The strength of the peel is determined by the type and concentration of the chemical solution used.
Superficial peels typically use alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and are used to treat mild skin concerns. Medium peels use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and can treat more severe skin issues, while deep peels use phenol and are reserved for the most serious skin concerns.
Before undergoing a chemical peel, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin type, medical history, and goals to determine the most appropriate type and strength of peel to use.
Before the treatment, your skin will be thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the chemical peel. Depending on the type of peel being used, you may need to discontinue the use of certain skincare products or medications for a period of time before the treatment. Next, we’ll carefully apply the peel solution to your skin using a brush. While it’s being applied, you may feel a slight burning or tingling sensation. Superficial peels are applied for a few minutes, whereas treatments with deeper peels can take up to an hour.
You may experience some light swelling and redness after your chemical peel. Recovery time can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the strength of the peel used. Follow your provider’s aftercare instructions, which may include:
- Applying a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to the treated skin
- Avoiding direct sunlight
- Avoiding products and lotions with chemicals that may irritate the skin, such as Retinol
Within a few days or weeks of your chemical peel, you will notice your skin is smoother, more even-toned, and youthful.
Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.