What Happens During a Chemical Peel?
There are three types of chemical peel treatments. Each chemical peel treatment has different results.
The light chemical peel reduces signs of aging and sun damage, while the medium reduces wrinkles, skin pigment changes, and blemishes. The deep chemical peel reduces severe wrinkles, sun damage, and skin texture.
- Light: During a light chemical appointment, the skin is cleaned and treated with a solution containing glycolic and salicylic acid. The solution removes the damaged outer layers of the skin that has been exposed to environmental toxins, dry conditions, and other negative factors.
Next, a neutralizing solution is applied to remove the chemical peel from the treated skin. After the procedure, you may notice your skin is red, dry, and slightly irritated, which is common for first-time chemical peel side effects.
- Medium: A medium chemical peel is applied by a chemical solution containing trichloroacetic acid combined with glycolic acid. After a few minutes of application, a cool compress is used to soothe the treated skin.
You may feel a stinging or burning sensation after the application, and your skin will be red, tight, and a little swollen. Apply a protective ointment like petroleum jelly to soothe the skin. As the swelling decreases, the skin will form a crust and darken until the skin has fully recovered.
- Deep: During a chemical peel, the skin is treated with carbolic acid. After the application, you may experience severe redness and swelling. For relief, a watertight dressing is applied to the treated skin, and you may be prescribed pain killers.
Throughout the recovery process, new skin will develop after two weeks, and the redness will last for a few months.
When Is it a Good Time for Chemical Peel Treatment?
If you have decided to proceed with a chemical peel producer, scheduling is one of the next major decisions to make. The fall and winter are good times for a chemical peel treatment that will help improve your complexion.
During fall and winter, your skin is more protected from the complications that occur if you receive too much UV exposure while your skin is in the recovery and healing stage.
The Process of the Chemical Peel Treatment
During a chemical peel treatment, the skin is cleaned and then treated with a solution known as a wounding or exfoliation agent. The solution affects portions of the skin to which it’s applied and encourages the growth of new skin in its place over a period of time following the procedure.
At the end of the treatment, the chemical is neutralized. The strength of the solution and length of time is dependent upon the type of peel.
Medium and deep peels use stronger chemicals that are applied in multiple 15-minute increments during a 60 to 90-minute procedure.
The Recovery Process
Over the following days, weeks, and even months, the skin on the treated area will peel and begin the process of creating a new layer to replace the skin that has been affected. The skin must be cared for properly during the recovery process to ensure proper healing, long-lasting results, and avoid infection.
Sun exposure has the potential to introduce color changes and hyperpigmentation. It’s important to avoid UV rays until the skin has finished peeling completely and use daily sunscreen as a post-procedure regimen to protect the skin.
Since there are lower UV levels during fall and winter, these seasons are optimal for recovery. While sunscreen should be applied daily, the chance of damage is decreased significantly in fall and winter.
Many people find it easier to take some time to rest indoors during the cooler months, minus the added pressure of summer vacations and activities.
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