What to Expect From a Chemical Peel

Your skin renews itself all the time. As new cells rise to the surface, older cells die and slough off to make way. But when those expired cells hang around on the surface, your skin can take on a dull, dry look. Sometimes all you need is a gentle scrub or exfoliating cleanser to clear the surface, but when that doesn’t work, it’s time to consider a chemical peel.

Our experienced medical team here at Robert Andrews Laser & Medical Aesthetics in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers a full spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical treatments, such as Botox® and dermal fillers, to help you achieve your beauty ideal. 

While chemical peels have been around for many years, they remain one of the most popular treatments. Here’s how they work.

Chemical peel newbies

Chemical peel first-timers often feel a little nervous because they don’t know what to expect. So, here’s what you need to know about getting your first chemical peel.

Depending on the skin flaws you want to address, there are different grades of chemical peels. They range from mild to deep, and our team helps you decide which is best for you based on our expert skin analysis. 

Although they differ in intensity, all chemical peels have the same goal: They use an agent to remove layers of skin and reveal newer skin underneath. The most common ingredients are salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, lactic acid, carbolic acid, and glycolic acid. 

If you choose a medium or deep chemical peel, we may apply a numbing cream or inject a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. 

After we apply the chemical peel to your skin, it needs to stay in place for a while to cause a reaction. The length of time we leave it on depends on several variables, including the type of peel, the combination of ingredients, the goal of the treatment, and the sensitivity of your skin.

Expect to feel a burning and/or stinging sensation as the acids go to work. Light peels that target the top layer of skin typically only cause minor discomfort. Deeper peels may require pain medication to help you tolerate them.

After the chemicals have done their job, we clean your face, and you’re free to go home. 

Chemical peel aftermath

Chemical peels aren’t instant fixes, so they take some time to work their magic. If you’ve had a light chemical peel treatment, you may look and feel like your face is slightly sunburned. Soon, it starts to flake and peel. The process typically wraps up in three to seven days.

Medium peels cause a more severe reaction, including blistering, slight inflammation, crusting, and peeling that lasts for about two weeks.

Deep chemical peels require some downtime. You can expect to experience some pain for the next few days following your deep chemical peel as well as redness and peeling that continues for a few weeks, or sometimes even a few months. It’s best to take it easy for about 14 days and return to your normal activities slowly. 

The upside with a deep chemical peel is that your results can last up to 10 years.

Caring for your face after a chemical peel

We give you detailed aftercare instructions so you can keep your tender new skin healthy in the days and weeks following your chemical peel treatment. 

Because each patient is unique, we customize your peel and your care routine just for you, but in general, you should:

Soon, your skin will look younger and fresher. You’ll notice fewer fine lines, a brighter complexion, and a more even tone. While chemical peels don’t solve every skin complaint, they can lift off whatever blemishes reside in the upper layers. 

To find out if chemical peels can improve your complexion, schedule an appointment today. Call us at 719-394-8450. 

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