By Dylan Alston MD
Mar 28, 2019
It’s difficult to feel confident in yourself when you feel like your skin isn’t picture-perfect. Most of us have some worries about the way our skin looks. Which also means that many of us could benefit from a chemical peel. A chemical peel is a procedure that uses a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin. You might use a chemical peel to treat skin discoloration, scars, and wrinkles. The solution removes the outer layers of your skin, so skin left after your peel should look smoother.
So what does a chemical peel involve –– and how could it help you?
When you visit your dermatologist, you’ll have the option to get a light, medium, or deep chemical peel. A deep chemical peel will help you get the most dramatic results, but it can involve a longer recovery than a light or medium chemical peel and has a greater risk for adverse outcomes.
A chemical peel is a simple outpatient procedure. It’s common to have a chemical peel at your dermatologist’s office. Here’s what to expect:
Your skin after a chemical peel will be tender. If you’ve had a light chemical peel, it might feel as if you have a sunburn. Your skin might be red and peel after a few days. After a deeper chemical peel, you might have blisters or swelling that crust or turn brown after a week or two. You might need to wear bandages on parts of your skin until it heals. Your dermatologist may prescribe an ointment or cream to apply to your skin as needed. Whether you get a light or deeper chemical peel, you should avoid the sun for several weeks after a chemical peel to protect your skin and always wear sunscreen. This will help protect your new investment.
Can getting a chemical peel damage your skin? In some cases. When you get a chemical peel there’s the possibility of having permanent discoloration or color change, redness, infection, or scarring. Deep chemical peels use carbolic acid (phenol), which can damage your heart, kidneys, and liver. If you’re prone to cold sores, a chemical peel can reactivate a cold sore. Discuss any concerns you have about getting a chemical peel with your dermatologist.
A chemical peel is a good way to help reverse the effects of aging and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, or scarring. A chemical peel doesn’t have to be deep to be effective. You’ll have several days of peeling and tenderness, but your skin will look new and fresh.