What Is a Chemical Peel Good For?
Chemical peels can be used to address a number of different cosmetic concerns on the face, including fine lines, acne scars, and skin that is dry or discolored. Peels can also be used to help clear up breakouts, and in some cases, this treatment can stimulate collagen production, giving you a more radiant complexion.
Peels get rid of the outer layer of skin, allowing fresh new skin to push to the surface. Removing that outer layer of old skin cells clears away some of those minor cosmetic concerns and gives the face a fresh start. Liver spots, rough skin, large pores, and scaly patches can also be addressed with a peel. Our practice offers four different types of peels, and we can help select the right one for you.
What Is a Peel?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment in which a chemical solution is used to resurface the skin, causing it to exfoliate. During the days after treatment, the outer layer of skin flakes away to reveal healthy skin just beneath. Once the face has completely healed, the skin is smoother, more even in tone, and creases and blemishes will be less noticeable.
Can a Peel Be Combined With Other Treatments?
Yes. Patients often combine chemical peels with other cosmetic services for great results. Dermaplaning, another skin rejuvenation treatment our practice offers that involves exfoliation, pairs especially nicely with a chemical peel. Dermaplaning is essentially a close shave of the face with a surgical scalpel. This treatment gets rid of dead skin cells, removes fine facial hair, and forces fresh new skin to rise to the surface.
When these two treatments are combined, dermaplaning usually takes place first, clearing the way for the liquid peel to deeply and effectively penetrate your skin.
Are Peels Just for Faces?
Peels are often performed on the face, but many patients also opt to have them on the neck and hands.
What Are Peels Made Of?
The peels we offer are comprised of phenol, trichloroacetic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, or a combination of these chemicals. The peel that’s best for you will depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish.
What Can I Expect From Treatment?
Before your treatment begins, we’ll cleanse your face and secure your hair. Using a brush or a sponge, we’ll then apply an acidic chemical solution to your face and allow it to dry.
Your skin may take on a whitish appearance as the solution sets. Depending on which chemical peel you opt for, we’ll then either apply a neutralizing solution to remove the chemical solution or apply a cool compress to soothe the skin.
Once your peel is complete, we may apply a protective ointment to the skin.
Should I Do Anything to Prepare in Advance?
There are several things you should avoid doing in the week or two leading up to your treatment that will ensure your skin is calm. Tanning booths, sun exposure, and microdermabrasion treatments should be avoided during the two weeks before your appointment. Botox and collagen injections should not be performed on the face during the week leading up to your appointment.
Will I Have to Follow Any Special Precautions Afterward?
After your appointment, your skin may appear pink, and it also may feel tight, but you’ll be able to get right back to your regular routine. We’ll provide you with specific instructions regarding moisturizing and caring for your skin in the days after your treatment. It will also be important that you not pick at your skin or scratch it as it is healing. You’ll also want to be gentle with your face when you’re washing it.
What Does This Treatment Feel Like?
You may feel mild stinging or burning as the acidic solution is applied to your face, but this is not an uncomfortable treatment. Most patients find it to be a pampering and relaxing experience.
How Long Does It Take?
Peels take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the type of peel you opt for and whether or not you opt to incorporate other treatments into your appointment.
How Long Will My Results Last?
Facial skin is always changing. As we continue to age, we keep developing creases and fine lines. And if you’re exposed to the sun, it may change the color of your skin or influence it in other ways. Because of those factors, a peel does not offer permanent results. But most patients enjoy their results for at least several months, and often longer depending on how carefully they protect their skin.
How Many Peels Should I Schedule?
Your skin will improve after just one peel, but you’ll get progressively better results if you schedule a series of peels over time. Just as skin damage accumulates over time, it will take a period of months to gradually improve your skin.
The number and frequency of your peels have a lot to do with the condition of your skin and the specific peel we recommend for you. Once we’ve had a chance to assess your skin, we’ll be able to recommend the right treatment schedule for you.
At What Age Should I Start Getting Peels?
Peels are frequently thought of as an anti-aging treatment, but they are also an effective way of treating acne and acne scars. For that reason, patients in their late teens and twenties sometimes turn to peels.
Patients also start scheduling peels when they notice the first signs of sun damage, which often occurs when they’re in their twenties or thirties. Peels are an easy and affordable way to fight back against early sun damage and rejuvenate the skin.
Are Peels or Microneedling the Better Option?
Microneedling, like peels, can rejuvenate the skin and smooth over the appearance of fine lines, scars, imperfections, and signs of aging. Microneedling is a totally different type of treatment that involves making tiny pricks on the skin’s surface with a rolling tool. Those tiny pricks are just enough to fool the body into thinking it’s been injured, kickstarting production of skin-renewing collagen and elastin.
Peels are best used to resolve superficial imperfections. The microneedling treatments our practice offers penetrate the skin more deeply and are a better option for more problematic issues. Patients who are trying to resolve acne scars sometimes find that a combination of peels and microneedling gives them optimal results.
What Steps Can I Take to Get the Most Out of a Peel?
Minimize Sun Exposure
You’re probably already familiar with the damage the sun can do to your skin over time and the importance of regularly wearing sunscreen. Staying out of the sun is especially important during the first few days after your peel when your face is still healing. Be sure to apply sunscreen even if you’re stepping outside for just a few minutes.
Maintain a Good At-Home Skincare Routine
Just because you’ve had a peel doesn’t mean you can skimp on your at-home skincare routine. Cleansing and moisturizing your skin regularly is a great way to keep it healthy and glowing, and it will also help preserve the results of your peel. In fact, the days following a peel are an excellent time to use your highest-quality moisturizers. Because the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin will be gone, moisturizers will penetrate deeply.
Drinking plenty of water, and maintaining a good sleep schedule, are also important components of your at-home skincare routine.
Schedule Them Regularly
Your skin type, cosmetic concerns, and lifestyle all help determine how frequently you should get peels. Depending on the type of peel you’re using, setting up a regular treatment schedule can give you the best results and can improve your skin’s look and health over time. We can work with you to determine an appropriate treatment schedule.
Chemical Peel Q&A
Won’t a Peel Leave My Skin Raw?
The peels that the cosmetic industry used in the 1990s sometimes left the skin feeling raw, but this treatment has evolved, and so have the acid formulas that are used. Today’s peels focus on infusing the skin with formulas that boost skin tone, minimize fine lines, and fight other signs of aging.
What Skin Types Are Peels Best For?
Peels are an effective option for all skin types and tones and carry no risk of hyperpigmentation.
Can Peels Help With Melasma?
Peels won’t permanently cure melasma, but they can help control it. Melasma is a condition in which brownish patches appear on the face, often as a result of hormonal changes or sun exposure.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Peels are a great option for those who want a safe, non-invasive approach to skin rejuvenation. There’s not really an age limit on peels, and many women over the age of 65 seek out these treatments. You might not be a suitable candidate if you’ve used certain acne medications in recent months, if your skin is broken, infected, or sunburned, or if you have a medical condition that makes your skin more sensitive than most.
Do Men Ever Get Peels?
Yes. Peels are a suitable treatment for both male and female patients, and a growing number of men are seeking them out. Peels offer relatively fast results, don’t involve injections, and don’t require a period of recovery, all of which make them an attractive option for patients of both genders.
Is This a Customizable Treatment?
Peels are a customizable treatment that we can tweak to best meet your cosmetic goals. Our peels can be adjusted to specifically tackle fine lines, age spots, and scars.
How Can I Get Started?
If you’re interested in finding out if a peel is right for you, the first step is to schedule a consultation with the friendly professionals at our practice. During your appointment, we’ll review your medical history, evaluate your skin, and talk with you about your cosmetic concerns and goals. We’ll work with you to determine if a peel is a good treatment option, and we’ll also make a recommendation about which of our four peels is the best choice.
Are You Ready to Put Your Best Face Forward?
Would you like to rejuvenate your face with an easy, in-office treatment? A peel can resolve a broad spectrum of minor cosmetic concerns, leaving your skin fresh, smooth, and more youthful in appearance. If you’re ready to put your best face forward, call Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, N.C., and schedule a chemical peel consultation today.