What Is a Chemical Peel and How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
A chemical peel is a treatment which exfoliates the skin by applying a chemical solution. This peel can trigger new skin cells to regenerate and stimulate new collagen production, resulting in a more even and smooth appearance over time. Chemical peels may utilize chemicals such as:
- Alpha-hydroxy acid
- Glycolic acid
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
- Lactic acid
- Retinoic acid
- Salicylic acid
What Can Chemical Peels Treat?
Chemical peels can be used to treat:
- Dark spots left behind from acne
- Mild sun damage
- Irregular pigmentation
- Pore size
- Skin roughness
- Uneven skin texture
How Do I Prepare for a Chemical Peel?
Before your chemical peel, your dermatologist will carefully evaluate your skin and determine whether you are suited to the treatment based on your concerns and goals. During your evaluation, you and your dermatologist will discuss your concerns as well as any health conditions you may have. Before treatment, you should avoid:
- Chemical hair removal or waxing
- Exfoliation for at least two weeks
What Should I Expect with a Chemical Peel?
Upon arrival at our office, your skin will be thoroughly cleansed to remove any dirt or makeup. Your board-certified dermatologist will then apply the chemical solution to your skin and allow it to remain on the skin for a set amount of time. Sometimes a neutralizing solution will also be applied to the skin to stop the effects of the chemical peel. Depending on the type of peel you receive, you may feel a mild stinging or warm sensation. Fans or other cooling devices may also be directed at the skin to maintain your comfort. Chemical peels can typically be completed within about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of peel you receive.
What Should I Expect After a Chemical Peel?
After your chemical peel, you will likely see some redness. Typically, the skin will peel for about 3 days but sometimes up to 14 days, depending on the type of chemical peel you have received. Your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight following a chemical peel, so you should avoid sun exposure as much as possible and wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen. Once healing is complete, you will see smoother and brighter skin. For best results, we typically recommend a series of chemical peels at 4-week intervals and then periodically thereafter to maintain results.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have acne, dark spots from acne, large pores, discoloration, melasma, dull skin, or rough skin texture, a chemical peel may be the most effective option for you to achieve smooth, even, and vibrant skin. At Arlington Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists can evaluate your skin concerns and recommend the best chemical peel option for your unique needs.
To schedule your consultation at Arlington Dermatology, please call our office or contact us online.