Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can treat a wide range of skin conditions such as acne, melasma, facial discoloration, dull skin, and mild sun damage. The chemical peels work to exfoliate damaged skin and stimulate collagen production, leaving behind a brighter, smoother complexion. Your board-certified dermatologist at Arlington Dermatology can recommend the type of chemical peel that will work best for you.

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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:

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:

  • Tanning
  • 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.

Chemical Peel FAQs

Can you wear makeup after a chemical peel?

This depends on the type of peel and the reaction of your individual skin. For a superficial peel, you may be able to start wearing makeup after your skin has healed post-procedure, which may be as soon as 48-72 hrs. For deeper and more aggressive peels, you may have to wait several days until your skin has healed sufficiently.

What is a good age to get a chemical peel?

An ideal time to get a chemical peel mainly depends on the presented skin concern rather than age, but most individuals have treatments starting in their 20s through 50s. It is always best practice to consult with your provider or aesthetician first.

How many sessions do you need for a chemical peel?

Depending on the intensity (light, medium, deep, etc.) of the type of peel, we typically recommend about three to six sessions, in four-week intervals, to achieve desired results.

Which chemical peel is best for beginners?

The type of peel depends on the goals you are trying to specifically achieve, but the most common peel that is used is a glycolic acid peel that is ideal for hyperpigmentation (dark spots) on the skin. Ideally, you would start with a lower concentration peel and work up to stronger concentrations as needed with future sessions, if tolerated.

What does a chemical peel cost?

A chemical peel at our office typically costs $300 per treatment.

How long do chemical peel results last?

The results of superficial-light peels can last several months-few years depending on how diligent you are with your sun protection following treatment. Medium and deep peel results can last even longer, but have more potential for adverse effects. Regardless of depth of peel, diligent sun protection post-treatment is essential for optimal results.

How long does a chemical peel take?

Chemical peel appointments are typically around 15 minutes.

Arlington Dermatology requires a deposit on Cosmetic Consultations and Cosmetic Services. 

Your appointment will not be accepted until this deposit is paid.  Please call the office at (703) 259-9561 after scheduling to make this payment and secure your appointment.  Thank You.

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