When to Receive a Chemical Peel

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When to Receive a Chemical Peel


A chemical peel is a minimally invasive procedure that can help improve the appearance of your skin. Chemical peels are generally performed on your face, but they can also be used on the skin of the neck and hands. There’s a reason Seattle chemical peels are one of the more popular aesthetic procedures in the northwest: they work. They can help reduce unsightly acne and scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and rough and sun-damaged skin. But the ins and outs of chemical peel treatments can be hard to understand. Read on to find out when to receive a chemical peel and when not to get one.

How Chemical Peels Work

A licensed clinician will begin by applying a chemical peel solution to your skin to remove damaged outer layers. The concentrations of various chemicals used by your physician will be adjusted based on your skin type and individual preferences.

The outer layer of the skin, which is called the epidermis, is comprised of several layers cells that help protect your skin from damage. Chemical peels work to dissolve parts of these cells. There are several variations of chemicals peels, and your physician will work with you to determine which one is best for you. There are plenty of physicians that perform chemical peel treatments in the area. Simply go online and search “Seattle chemical peel” to find one near you.

Types of Chemical Peels

During a superficial chemical peel, also known as “light” or “mild,” a chemical solution is applied to your skin to remove its outer layer. This results in a subtle change to the skin and can give it a smoother appearance and healthy glow.

During the superficial peel, your physician will cleanse your face and possibly give you an oral sedative to help you relax. Then he or she will brush the chemical solution onto your skin. The treatment lasts from 5 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, you may experience mild side effects, such as burning and discomfort. Use a cold compress and a mild painkiller in these instances. You may consider getting a superficial chemical peel when you have uneven pigment, dryness, acne, or fine wrinkling.

A medium chemical peel is used to treat deeper acne scars, wrinkles, skin color abnormalities, and uneven skin. The chemicals used when you receive a medium peel will remove the outer layer of skin and part of the middle layer of your skin. Similar to the superficial peel, your clinician will clean your face and provide a mild sedative or local anesthesia in some instances prior to treatment. The treatment lasts for 30 to 60 minutes, and you may experience moderate pain for a few hours afterwards.

The final type of chemical peel, a deep peel, is used in a small percentage of patients who suffer from deep facial wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, or pre-cancerous skin spots.  A local anesthetic and mild sedative is almost always used in this type of treatment. You can also expect a pre-treatment regimen up to 8 weeks prior that includes taking vitamins and prescription medications. After the treatment, which may take a couple hours, your physician will apply petroleum over the treated area. This jelly must stay in place for up to two days, so you shouldn’t plan on doing too much in the days that follow.

When to Receive a Chemical Peel

You should receive a chemical peel after you’ve consulted with an experienced physician to discuss your medical situation. Generally, people receive a chemical peel to reduce fine lines on the face; to treat wrinkles and sun damage; to improve the appearance of acne-damaged skin; to reduce age spots and freckles; and improve the overall look of the skin.

Generally, people with fair skin and light hair are the best candidates for chemical peels. Those with darker skin complexions may experience good results, but the risk of an uneven skin tone and other complications following the treatment is increased.

When Not to Receive a Chemical Peel

It’s also important to understand when not to get a chemical peel treatment. You may not be an ideal candidate for a chemical peel if you have a history of skin scarring; experience abnormal pigmentation; are of Afro-Caribbean or Asian descent; have facial warts; have red hair and pale freckled skin; or have used certain acne treatments within the past year.

Chemical peels cannot treat deep facial lines; make loose or sagging skin tighter; stimulate collagen production; remove damaged capillaries; change the size of your pores; or get rid of deep-rooted scarring.

Your physician will ultimately determine whether or not you’re a good candidate.

Questions to Ask your Doctor About Chemical Peels

Preparation is important when you’re deciding whether or not to receive a chemical peel in Seattle. Make sure your physician answers all the following questions before you choose him or her to perform your Seattle chemical peel treatment:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Why or why am I not an ideal candidate for a chemical peel?
  • What can I do to increase my odds of getting good results?
  • Who will perform my chemical peel?
  • What do I need to do before and after the treatment?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure or treatment?
  • How long is the recovery time?
  • What are the side effects?
  • What type of results should I expect?

Side Effects and Risks of Chemical Peels

As mentioned, mild and medium chemical peels can leave your skin feeling red, splotchy, and irritated. A cold compress and over-the-counter pain medication can help most people get rid of these symptoms within a few hours. Deep chemical facial peels may lead to peeling, redness, and discomfort for several days after treatment.

To find out more information about chemical peels, contact us at Island Dermatology.




1 Comment
  1. Hmm…interesting tips. Chemical facial peels are definitely important to know about before getting them done. You don’t want to end up like the ladies in the movies where they have a red face for days >_<. Any who, it's definitely important for anyone who is interested in getting a facial peel to talk about it with your physician and get it done at a professional spa. It helps to read reviews of the spa too. So choose wisely! 🙂