Patients with pigmentation or texture issues, such as fine lines and wrinkles, scarring or sun spots, can often benefit from a chemical peel. This treatment resurfaces the skin for a smooth and youthful appearance. Patients in Oregon and Washington can schedule a consultation at Silver Falls Dermatology to learn more.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a noninvasive procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin for thorough exfoliation. Several types of chemical peels are available, ranging from light or superficial peels to deep chemical peels. A chemical peel typically is performed to treat signs of aging, such as wrinkles or sun spots, or scarring.
Benefits of a Chemical Peel
The benefits of a chemical peel range depending on the type of peel you receive.
Superficial or light chemical peels remove the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. This is intended to improve less severe issues such as fine lines, uneven skin tone or rough texture, dryness or acne.
Medium chemical peels remove the epidermis as well as cells from the middle layer of the skin, known as the dermis. These chemical peels are intended to treat wrinkles, acne scars or pigmentation issues such as uneven skin tone.
Deep chemical peels remove the epidermis and more skin cells from the dermis layer. These treatments are intended for deeper wrinkles or scars.
Chemical Peel Candidates
During your consultation, your provider will carefully consider your cosmetic goals, skin health and health history to determine whether you are a good candidate for a chemical peel. Patients who have a personal or family history of keloids or other scarring complications may not be suited to chemical peels. The treatment is also not recommended for those who have taken isotretinoin in the past six months, those who are pregnant or those who have frequent or severe cold sores.
The Chemical Peel Procedure
The chemical peel procedure will vary depending on the type of peel you receive. During each type of chemical peel, the chemical solution will be applied to the skin and carefully timed as it processes. A neutralizing solution is then applied to remove the chemical peel. In a medium chemical peel, fans may be directed to the skin to reduce burning or stinging. In a deep chemical peel, you may be given IV sedation or local anesthesia. The chemical peel procedure is typically completed within 20-90 minutes, depending on the type of peel. Your provider will explain expectations prior to your treatment.
After a Chemical Peel
After a light chemical peel, you can expect some redness, irritation and a tightening sensation. Most patients do not require downtime after a light chemical peel, and makeup can be carefully applied using clean tools to hide redness or other visible side effects.
After a medium chemical peel, the skin will be red and swollen. You can expect some stinging or irritation. As swelling decreases, the skin may crust or darken as it heals. The skin typically takes one to two weeks to heal.
After a deep chemical peel, you can expect severe redness and swelling. Your provider may prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable through the recovery process. These chemical peels typically require about one to two weeks of downtime as the skin heals.