How Should I care for my skin after a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are used to achieve better skin tone and to remove fine lines, wrinkles, improve discoloration, help rejuvenate the skin, sloughs off the damaged, outermost layer which allows smoother, more evenly pigmented skin surface. Dramatic results may be achieved with a single treatment, but we usually recommended a series of 3 to 6 treatments (one every three to four weeks) to achieve the full benefits of smoother, younger looking skin.
I’m a PCA Skin Certified Professional, fully trained to administer any PCA Skin medical and professional treatments. I know everyone’s skin is unique, and will always make the best peel selections for your particular skin care needs. Now that you have read my precious blog, “What is Chemical Peel, is it right for my skin”, let’s get into the most important part, your at home regiment and how to care for your skin after a Chemical peel! Within 3 to 5 days after receiving a Chemical peel you should not necessarily expect to peel, however, light to medium flaking in a few localized areas for several days is typical. To minimize side effects and maximize results use the Post Procedure Solution kit you received after the treatment to be used at home 3 to 5 days or until flaking has resolved.
Don’t Pick or Scratch Skin
Chemical peels can cause a reddening and peeling of skin in the days following the treatment, while deeper peels can cause blistering, and peeling can persists for up to 10 days. Do not pick or pull on any loosening or peeling skin, this could potentially cause hyperpigmentation. Even though skin may itch or flake early in recovery, it’s important to resist the urge to rub or scratch the affected skin. Picking or otherwise touching the treated area may lessen the results of the peel and increase the risk of infection. Apply moisturizer at least twice a day but can be applied more frequently for hydration to decrease the appearance of flaking or if the skin feels tight.
It’s important to keep your face moisturized after a chemical peel since dry skin is more vulnerable to cracks and flake. Make sure to apply moisturizer and your SPF diligently in the days and weeks following a peel until your skin has completely healed. It is recommended that other topical over the counter products not be applied to the skin 7 days post procedure, as they may cause irritation. It is also recommended to delay use of tretinoin, Retin-A, Renova 5 days post procedure.
Avoid direct sun exposure and excessive heat following all types and strengths of chemical peels. It’s best to avoid the sun completely in the first seven to 14 days after a peel unless you are wearing sunscreen with SPF 30. Unprotected skin is at risk of developing blotchy patches or irregular skin coloring following a peel. Once your skin has healed, continue to wear sunscreen in order to minimize the formation of new lines and wrinkles. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Remember to apply sunscreens 20 to 30 minutes before you head outdoors.
Post Procedure Skin Treatment Tips
Do not have electrolysis, facial waxing for approximately 5 days
Do not go to a tanning bed for at least two weeks post procedure
Do not use hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas for approximately 5 days
Do not go swimming within the first 3 days
Do not participate in exercise that would cause excessive perspiration
Do not apply ice or ice water to the treated area
Stay cool, heating internally can cause hyperpigmentation
What should I expect after a chemical peel?
Right after the chemical has been applied, the skin may sting or tingle, but this should go away within the first couple of minutes. Side effects may vary in keeping with the strength of the solution, but most of the time clients have some degree of dryness, stinging, redness, or irritation that goes away within a few days. Sometimes, mild flares may occur after the first treatment, but often resolve quickly with added treatments using your take home products.
How should I care for my skin after chemical peels?
Your skin may be sensitive to other lotions used to treat acne, i.e. benzyl peroxide, topical retinoids, over the counter or prescribed acne washes within the first 48 hours after your peel. You should use your Post Procedure Solution kit and apply moisturizers often. Your skin may also be sensitive to the sun for the first few days. Use a sunscreen with broad spectrum coverage and an SPF 30 during the first week after the peel.
How soon will I see results and how many treatments will I need?
Most people notice their skin has improved somewhat after the first treatment. As a rule, you will need about 3 treatments (one treatment per month) to achieve good results. It is vital for you to keep on using the prescribed treatments at home to maintain the response. Maintenance treatments may be needed in the future. Occasionally other treatments such as micro-dermabrasion or comedone extractions are added to enhance the effects of the chemical peels.