A chemical peel is an office-based procedure performed to achieve better skin tone and to remove fine lines, especially on the face. The chemical solution removes outer layers of skin which are damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems. Removing the outer skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of skin cells which are tainted by the previous skin condition.
Chemical peels are a popular as a way to freshen the face. People of all skin types can benefit from chemical peels to give their face a younger, healthier look.
Note: You may have to have several chemical peels to correct certain kinds of problems.
At the time of your procedure at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center Medical Spa, any active skin disease, infection, or acne needs to be under control in order to maximize results. There are several different types of chemical solutions which can be used, ranging from a mild solution to a very strong one. At the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center Medical Spa, our skin care specialists typically use varying strengths of glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid).
During the procedure, the skin is first cleansed of oils. Using a soft brush or applicator, the chemical is applied to the areas of concern. The solution is allowed to remain on the skin for a short time in order to remove the layers of damaged skin. Most chemical peels sting or burn slightly or produce a short sensation of heat while applied, but the sensation is typically very mild. The skin is then neutralized and cleansed. Finally, skin care products are applied to the skin to aid in healing.
Skin care products, an ointment or a dressing are applied immediately after the chemical peel to aid in the healing process and to minimize swelling. Patients sometimes report minor discomfort associated with the procedure, which can be treated effectively with oral medication. The skin will have a pinkish color, and, with deeper peels, a thin crust may form over the area that was treated. Some kinds of peels cause your skin to be red, dry, and flaky for about a week after the procedure. In some cases, a scab may form during the healing process. The new layer of skin will be more vulnerable to sun damage for a period of time. We will instruct you the best way to cleanse, moisturize, and protect the treated skin from the sun.
The results of most chemical peel can be dramatic. However, maintenance treatments at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center Medical Spa will be necessary to help keep the skin looking smooth and refreshed.
How long will it take to recover from my chemical peel?
The length of recovery is dependent on the type of chemical used, the strength of the solution, the length of time the chemical is applied and how sensitive you are. In general, most patients are able to enjoy normal social activities within 2-3 days. Even our more aggressive chemical peels have a relatively short recovery period because we utilize our own Rapid Recovery Protocol that enables most patients to return to normal social activities within 5 days.
Note: Sun avoidance is necessary after a chemical peel – ask your treatment provider regarding the length of time you should avoid direct sun exposure.