What do chemical peels do?

Chemical peeling agents resurface the skin by inducing a controlled wound and thus removing superficial layers of the skin. As a result, chemical peels promote the growth of a new healthy top skin layer and improve skin problems like hyper pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven texture and skin impurities.

What should I expect during treatment?

Procedures may vary dependent on the type of chemical peel chosen. Skin is prepped using a medical degreaser to ensure the treated area is free of any oils left on the skin. The chemical agent is then applied and typically remains on the skin for 3 to 5 minutes. Most patients feel a mild stinging which is temporary and usually subsides after a few minutes.

Some peels are designed to self neutralize such as Jessner and Retinoic peel. Jessner Peel (Vitalize peel) is a superficial peel designed to improve the texture and appearance of skin. (Salicylic acid, Resorcinol, Lactic acid) People with a history of allergies to aspirin should avoid this peel. Retinoic is a self neutralize peel and one must not wash the face within 4 hours your skin will have a yellowish orange colour that will subside in a few hours.

How long is the recovery after a chemical peel and what type of care is necessary?

Recovery times will vary based on the type and strength of the peel. Immediately after the peel, your skin will feel tight and may be red. Peeling usually lasts 3-6 days, depending on the actual peel treatment. Normal activity may be resumed after the peel however strenuous exercise and heavy sweating should be avoided for 2-3 days. Sun exposure should be avoided while skin is peeling; exposure of treated skin to a lot of heat should also be avoided as it may induce swelling, redness and for deeper peels blisters under the skin. Peeling skin should be allowed to slough off naturally; picking or peeling of flaking skin is prohibited, as it may lead to scarring. Use Rosehip cream for 3-5 days post peel.

Why did I not have any visible peeling after my peel?

The success of the peel should not be judged by the amount of peeling, but by the end results that the peel will produce. The amount of peeling may vary depending on individual skin condition at the time of the peel or the depth of the peel. Regardless of the degree of peeling, the skin is still sloughing off at an accelerated rate, resulting in the improvement of skin tone and texture and an improvement of fine lines and uneven pigmentation.

What products or procedures should I avoid before a chemical peel?

  • One week before the peel avoid waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal.
  • Two to three days before the peel discontinue using any prescription topicals such as Retin-A, as well as any products containing retinol, alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Patients who have had any medical cosmetic facial treatments or procedures such as Laser treatments, cosmetic fillers or other surgical procedures should wait until skin sensitivity has completely resolved before receiving a peel.

What are the counter indications to chemical peels?

Chemical peels should be avoided if any of the following conditions are present:

  • Active cold sores, herpes in the area to be treated
  • Wounded, sunburned or excessively sensitive skin
  • Accutane use within the last year only for TCA peels
  • History of recent chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Women who are pregnant or actively breastfeeding
  • Patients with Vitiligo
  • Patients with a history of autoimmune disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, multiple sclerosis etc) or any condition that may weaken their immune system

What can I expect after the 1st 24 hours after the peel?

Your skin will feel tighter and be more red than usual. Your skin may feel tacky and swollen. It is recommended to take Ibuprofen before TCA peels and 6 hours after peel

How do I care for my skin after the peel?

Use of a soap free gentle cleanser to wash your face, scrubs and wash cloths should be avoided while skin is peeling. Application of a hydrating moisturizer (Rosehip cream) twice a day or is recommended to relieve dryness and control peeling (take care not to over moisturise as the skin must dry) Sun block must be worn daily. It is best to avoid sun exposure for 1-week post peel.

Choosing the correct product for your skin colour and skin concern