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The Biggest Fall Skincare Trend: Chemical Peels

Posted by Nima | September 23, 2022

Wanting to look your best this fall season? You’re not alone. Chemical peels are all that anyone and everyone is talking about. Chemical peels are a type of cosmetic surgery that use chemicals to remove layers of skin and reveal the healthier skin beneath. Chemical peels are used to treat a range of skin problems, such as fine lines and wrinkles, acne, scars, uneven skin tone, and other blemishes. The depth of your peel and the kind of skin problem treated are determined by different chemicals.

What are chemical peels?

A chemical peel is a derma resurfacing procedure that uses chemicals to peel away the dead and damaged skin cells on the surface of your skin. This process causes cell turnover, which results in refreshed, new looking skin. With time, the old layers of skin will shed to reveal youthful and glowing skin below. The new skin is often smoother, with less wrinkles and fine lines. It also has an even complexion in terms of color and brightness and can remove or reduce acne scars, sun spots, and discoloration.

What medical problems and other conditions does a chemical peel help to treat?

Chemical peels can make your skin look better by evening out the tone and improving the texture. They are also used to treat certain skin conditions. The majority of chemical peels are done on your face, neck, or hands.

They may aid in the reduction or improvement of the following skin conditions:

  • Lines under your eyes or around your mouth resulting from sun damage, age, and genetic factors. 
  • Some types of acne.
  • Scars that are visible but not severe.
  • Darker melanin spots, responsible for producing these pigmentation disorders: sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, and uneven skin color.
  • Actinic keratosis can be treated by removing the buildup of skin cells and reducing inflammation.
  • Can help improve your complexion: roughness, dryness, or flakiness.
  • Melasma is a type of permanent hyperpigmentation that occurs when the sun’s UV radiation damages your skin. It can also be caused by pregnancy, as well as using birth control pills.

Together, you and your dermatologist will decide how deep your peel should be. This decision can change depending on the state of your skin and what treatment goals have been set. If you have sagging skin, bulges, deep scars, or severe wrinkles, chemical peels will not give you the desired results. If these are your concerns, other cosmetic surgical treatments such as carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, a face lift, brow lift, eye lift, or soft tissue filler will be better alternatives. A dermatologist can help you choose the best treatment for your issues.

Does every skin type benefit from it?

Superficial peels are good for all skin types usually, but if you have darker skin, there is a bigger chance that your skin will darken after the treatment. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that develops when inflammation, such as sunburn or acne, persists after the injury has healed. If you have a naturally darker complexion, talk to your dermatologist about other less severe therapies to minimize the chance of hyperpigmentation.

Chemical peeling is usually not recommended if you:

  • Have a history of skin scarring that is abnormal
  • Have extra coloring in your scars
  • If you have any skin problems or use medications that make your skin more sensitive
  • You need to be in the sun consistently after the procedure

What happens during a chemical peel treatment?

Chemical peels may be done in a doctor’s office or a surgery center as an outpatient treatment. Your skin will be cleansed with a solution that removes excessive oils, while your eyes and hair are protected. A chemical solution is then applied to your skin. Chemical solutions used in this process include glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol). The various types of chemicals induce a controlled injury, with each one entering through a different skin depth and subsequently peeling away to expose a new layer of skin.

Types of chemical peels

The peel’s depth relies on the strength of the chemicals used, which your dermatologist will help you choose.

  • A light (“lunchtime”) chemical peel, which provides a little improvement over time and is frequently done in a series, targets the outermost layer of skin. The epidermis is removed from the surface. This option may be ideal for enhancing a healthy glow if you have fine wrinkle lines, acne scars, uneven skin coloration or dry sun-damaged skin. It might take hours to days for this type of peel to heal; however there will be little to no downtime.
  • A medium chemical peel will transform your skin into looking smooth and fresh. The top layers of dead skin are removed, as well as the upper part of the middle layer. If you have moderate wrinkles, age spots, acne scars or uneven skin discoloration, this is probably the best option for you. However,… be aware that it usually takes a week or more to recover from this type of procedure – meaning minimal activity levels during that time period.
  • A deep chemical peel is the most effective way to achieve dramatic results. This chemical penetrates down to your skin’s lower middle layer. Recovery time is longer with a deep peel, but it may be the best option if you have moderate lines and wrinkles, extensive sun damage, deep acne scars, blotchy skin, or precancerous growths called actinic keratosis. If you receive a deep chemical peel, expect to take it easy for about eight weeks. Once applied to your face, this will be a one-time only treatment with some significant recovery time. Be sure to follow any specific instructions from the experts.

How to prepare

  • Try to steer clear of tanning and being in direct sunlight for two weeks leading up to each treatment
  • To prepare your skin, apply topical medications (such as hydroquinone) as directed before treatment
  • Do not use retinoid products, like tretinoin, one to two weeks before treatment unless your physician advises you otherwise
  • If you’ve been given oral antibiotics or an antiviral pill to treat cold sores, stop taking it at least 24 hours before your chemical peel
  • Any areas to be peeled must have healed completely, with no open sores or skin infections
  • Depending on the type of peel and your skin condition, your doctor will give you specific instructions

Day of peel: You will be completely cleansed. If you have a deep chemical peel, you may or may not receive general anesthesia (you will be asleep).

The procedure: A chemical peel is a process in which a solution is applied to your skin. You may experience a warm or hot sensation for a few minutes, followed by an itchy feeling. To reduce the discomfort, we’ll apply a chilly compress to your skin. The chemical is afterwards washed away or neutralized.

What are the risks?

If you have a certain skin type, there is a chance that the color of your skin may change temporarily or permanently. If you take birth control pills, are pregnant, or have a family history of brown discoloration on your face, your risk for developing abnormal pigmentation increases.

You’re also less likely to experience scarring in some areas of your face, though some people are more prone to it. If scarring does happen, know that there’s usually a successful treatment for it. if you have had herpes outbreaks before, there is low risk of reactivating the cold sore sea creature friend again. Your dermatologist can prescribe medicine which will lower the chance Beforehand; all you need to do is follow their directions!

Tell your dermatologist if you have a history of keloids (scar tissue overgrowth caused by an injury to the skin), any unusual scarring tendencies, or X-rays of your face or prior experience with cold sores before having chemical peels. Infections are uncommon but still possible.

After the procedure, what can I expect?

Depending on the depth of your chemical peel, you may or may not notice any changes after treatment.

If you’ve had a light chemical peel

  • Expect a sunburn-like sensation to follow your peel, with redness and scaling that persists for three to seven days.
  • Use lotion or cream as often as directed until your skin feels better. Once it does, apply sunscreen every day.
  • You may apply makeup immediately following your treatment, or the subsequent day.
  • Peels may be repeated every two to five weeks until you achieve your desired results. Three to five peels are usually needed to reach your goal.

If you’ve had a medium chemical peel

  • The side effects of this treatment may include temporary redness, swelling, stinging and flaking of your skin. Swelling could last and/or worsen for 48 hours. Blisters might develop and eventually break open. The treated area will crust over and peel off within seven to 14 days.
  • As directed by your doctor, perform daily washes. After each soak, apply ointment. Apply lotion or cream on a regular basis. Don’t expose your skin to direct sunlight until it has completely healed.
  • The duration for which one must take antiviral medication is 10 to 14 days.
  • Makeup can be applied approximately five to seven days post-treatment.
  • Depending on the results you want to maintain, additional peels may need to be done every six months to a year.

If you’ve had a deep chemical peel

  • Once the treatment area is bandaged, we’ll remove the bandages in a few days. The healing process should be completed within 14 to 21 days.
  • Perform daily soaks as directed by your doctor and apply ointment after each soak. After 14 days, you can begin to moisturize your skin as directed. However, it is important that you avoid exposure to sunlight for three to six months following treatment.
  • Anti-viral medicine will need to be taken for 10 to 14 days.
  • Wait at least 14 days before applying cosmetics.
  • You can only have one deep peel procedure performed on your face at a time.

How to get the best results

Your skin is especially delicate after your chemical peel and more vulnerable to problems. To decrease the likelihood of complications, like blotchy pigmentation, follow your doctor’s post-treatment guidelines carefully. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: Itching, swelling, or burning. Scratching your skin might cause an infection. 

Here are some of the top things you should do for the best result:

  • When your skin is healing, don’t use a tanning bed or any other sort of indoor or outdoor tanning.
  • Once your skin has healed, be sure to apply sunscreen every day.
  • Apply a moisturizer every day, as directed, to keep your skin hydrated and avoid scarring.

Best place to get chemical peels in Utah

NIMA is the leading school of aesthetics in the state of Utah and offers incredible services at discounted prices. We offer discounted prices so our students can help with their training. No need to worry, you will always have a professional in the room with you!

If you’re interested in booking an appointment with us, click here to request a consult.

If you’d like to learn more about esthetics classes, check out How To Find Esthetician Schools Near Me, to get all of the details.