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Chemical Face Peels

Chemical Face Peels

Light peeling is a chemical treatment designed to remove superficial layers of the skin. It is used to help smooth the skin, to reduce shallow wrinkling and scarring, to help “dry out” active acne and to lighten hyperpigmented spots (dark patches on the skin). Before the chemical solution is applied, your skin is cleansed with acetone. It would be most helpful if you would remove any facial makeup prior to the treatment.

The solution is applied with cotton applicators and there is a burning sensation that lasts for a few minutes. During this time, you will be made more comfortable with cool air and cold compresses. There is no discomfort following the peel. After application of the chemical, your face may have white-tinged areas. This is caused from the solution, and usually fades within an hour or so. Your face may appear slightly redder than usual for some time after treatment and you may also sunburn easier.

In most cases, peeling usually occurs between the second and fifth day following treatment. Typically on day three or four your skin will become very dry and some small cracks may develop. You may apply a bland moisturizer and should use mild soap-free cleansers following the treatments. In general, the peel will have the appearance of a mild to moderate sunburn. You may cover the redness with light, water-based makeup if desired.

The peels are typically spaced at two week intervals. The number of peels required for any given problem varies with each patient and is determined by the patient and doctor. It is impossible to know in advance how much peeling you can get following each session. It is typical that not all areas of the face peel uniformly. There is no limit to the number of peels a person can receive as long as improvement continues.

Please inform the doctor if you have a history of oral herpes (cold sores around the mouth). Most peel patients are encouraged to concomitantly use a retinoid such as Refissa and/or a glycolic acid product; however these should not be applied the night before a peel or while skin is actually peeling following the treatment.