Chemical peels are treatments intended to improve the way the skin on the hands, neck or face looks. It is typically applied to the skin to encourage exfoliation. When the skin regenerates afterward, the skin is less wrinkled, younger and fresher looking.
Chemical Peels FAQ
We offer a wide variety of chemical peels that can be customized to your needs. Chemical peels help improve the appearance of skin and stimulate collagen and elastin which will strengthen your skin. A peel can be utilized as a supplement to any of our Skin Rejuvenation Treatments. Also, Body Peels can be done for legs, arms and décolleté to help brighten sun damaged skin.
How do chemical peels work?
In essence, a mixture of natural ingredients, medication, enzymes and other nutrients is applied to the affected skin. It is allowed to sit on the skin for a certain period of time before it is removed to allow the ingredients to get to work on the topmost layer of skin. Once removed, the top layer of skin will begin to slough off, much like when you have recovered from a sunburn, revealing fresh skin below.
How are chemical peels administered?
Chemical peels are applied topically on the skin of the face, hands or neck. Since they do not involve any invasive procedures or surgeries, they offer low or no recovery time. Superficial peels may be applied by an aesthetician, while more intense peels would be applied by a dermatologic surgeon. The peels we use at the LASSI are superficial and provided by our team of aestheticians under the supervision of a board-certified dermatologist.
Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel skin treatment?
Individuals who want to remove damaged skin or wrinkles are ideal candidates. Chemical peels work best with people who have light hair and fair skin. It is not ideal for dark-skinned patients (except for very specialized formulations), nursing women or pregnant women. You should avoid this treatment if you have rosacea, psoriasis, Herpes simplex 1 sores, active skin diseases, cuts, infections, sunburns, eczema, broken skin or dermatitis. It is also not recommended for anyone who has taken Accutane in the last six months or prescription skin care products in the last 48 hours. If you aren’t sure if you are a good candidate, it’s best if you schedule a consultation with one of our aestheticians to discuss this treatment and other treatment options for you.
Are chemical peels painful? Can anesthesia be used?
While the chemical peel may sting slightly, the worst side effects will general just be irritation, crusting or redness. Stronger peels that use trichloroacetic acids may cause more stinging than gentle alpha-hydroxy or glycolic mixtures.
Anesthesia is not generally used with this procedure. Topical numbing may be used for patients who require it.
How long does the treatment take?
Chemical peels that we provide in our Indiana dermatology practice take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
When will I see results?
The type of peel determines how long it takes to heal. A superficial chemical peel only requires one to seven days to heal. Medium peels may take 7 to 14 days for healing, and swelling may occur in the first 48 hours. Meanwhile, a deep peel may take 14 to 21 days to heal. Once the healing has occurred, results will be readily apparent for most people.
How long do results last?
A light chemical peel will normally last for one to two months. Deeper peels will last for longer periods of time. However, you can maintain your results by following a good at-home skin care regimen and by protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. For some skin conditions, we recommend frequent treatments to maintain results and promote faster healing, such as with our acne peels.
Is there any downtime?
While a superficial peel requires very minimal downtime, a medium or deep peel may cause swelling or redness for a few days. You can still carry on with your normal life, but there may be redness or swelling. Regardless, we will recommend that you avoid sun exposure for one week. Be aware that your skin will peel for several days after treatment, so we recommend that you not have a chemical peel too close to an event or prior to having photos taken.
Who should not get a chemical peel?
Pregnant and nursing women should not get this treatment without consulting with their OBGYN. Anyone with skin infections, cuts or broken skins should avoid getting this treatment. In addition, people with skin diseases like psoriasis and rosacea should not have this treatment unless prescribed by a dermatologist. If you’re allergic to any ingredient in the chemical peel, or you have sensitivity to certain ingredients, you should opt for a different treatment or peel formulation. Note that we can help you determine whether or not a chemical peel is a good solution for you during a consultation with our aestheticians and dermatology team.
What are the potential complications?
The main complications from this treatment are redness, swelling, irritation and peeling. With intense, deep chemical peels, the area around the eyes may swell shut for certain people. Unless the individual has an allergy to the ingredients, serious side effects are extremely rare in the hands of a board-certified dermatologist or aestheticians under the direct supervision of a dermatologic surgeon.
Where can I get more information?
For more information about chemical peels, side effects and treatment options, check out the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery or contact our office for details and to schedule a consultation to find out if chemical peels are a good treatment option for you.