101 Guide to Chemical Peel Treatment

Chemical peels are part of a growing market that is projected to see its market increase by 50% in the next 10 years. Men and women worldwide are seeking out chemical peel treatments because they give a “fresh start” for your skin by reducing:

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Dark spots
  • Acne scars
  • Other skin damage/issues

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a procedure that uses a chemical solution to remove the damaged outer layer of the skin. The solution is applied to the skin and then removed, causing the outer layer of skin to:

  • Crust
  • Scale
  • Peel

Over the course of multiple days, the peel will take place and force the body to regrow new skin that is smoother and has fewer imperfections.

Multiple types of chemical peels exist, including glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid and blend options, such as Jessner’s solution.

The peel removes those damaged, top layers of the skin, promote the body’s natural collagen production and help speed up cell turnover. While you’ll want to discuss your target area with a technician, peels are most often performed on the neck, face, hands and chest area.

What To Expect After a Chemical Peel?

The type of peel that you receive will dictate what you can expect during treatment. Mild peels, which are what most people receive, are in-office procedures. When the peel is applied, you’ll experience a stinging or burning sensation.

Treatment centers will often use fans and ice, appropriately placed, to try alleviating these symptoms.

Medium or deep peels are more intense and attempt to get deeper into the skin, which increases discomfort. A deep peel is a serious procedure that may require:

  • Anesthesia and/or
  • Strong sedatives and/or
  • Pain medication

In all cases, the solution is applied to the skin, sits for a few minutes to an hour and then is removed. Cold compresses are applied to the skin to help neutralize the acid.

Recovery time will vary from as little as three to seven days for a basic peel to three weeks for deep peels. Medium peels have an average recovery time of 7 to 14 days as the peeling process begins to take place.

Ointments and antivirals are often required for medium and deep peels, as the chemicals will reach deep into the skin to remove numerous layers in a single treatment.

Who’s A Good Candidate for a Chemical Peel?

Peels are a good option for most people, but there are occasions when they may not be recommended. For example, you may not be a good candidate if you have/experience:

  • History of skin scarring that is abnormal
  • Dark complexion/skin tone
  • Scarring that leads to extra pigmentation
  • Skin or medical conditions that cause high levels of skin sensitivity

You’ll want to speak to your local spa or treatment center to discuss which type of chemical peel would be a good option for you. Peels can cause drying or flaking of the skin. Hyperpigmentation is also possible, which is why it’s important to speak to a professional who will examine your skin type and tone before a procedure to make sure that you’re a good candidate.

One or several treatments may be required to reach your desired results.

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