A chemical peel is a popular, minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that resurfaces your skin to significantly reduce imperfections and the signs of aging. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018, the chemical peel retained its place as the third-most common minimally invasive aesthetic procedure in the US. Nearly 1.4 million women had this procedure in 2018, up 20 percent since 2000. Many women choose the procedure because it helps them maintain a more youthful appearance without invasive surgeries or the sky-high costs that come with them. Let’s explore everything you need to know about chemical peels in Northern Virginia.
Types of Chemical Peels
There are three types of chemical peels:
- Superficial – This is basically a professional and thorough exfoliation that refreshes skin, restores smoothness, and eliminates mild pigmentation irregularities. It is perfect for someone who wants to get a very mild procedure every 2-4 weeks to feel more youthful, refreshed, and confident. Superficial peels are often done in a series as you slowly attain a moderate peel level over a series of months and then maintain it.
- Moderate – At the next level, a chemical peel can smooth rough skin, eliminate the appearance of age spots, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and lessen scar tissue.
- Deep – This chemical peel can tackle moderate wrinkles, age spots, and scars. It is more invasive than the other two, so you’ll generally have a local anesthetic and may be under sedation in preparation. You will have some downtime after the procedure and may not want to go to work for about a week.
A chemical peel is one of the fastest and most effective ways to achieve smoother, more radiant skin on the face, neck, and hands.
Chemical Peel Preparation
Chemical peel preparation involves avoiding “beauty treatments” that stress the skin, such as:
- Home chemical peels
- Tanning or heavy sun exposure
- Harsh exfoliation
- Waxing or chemical depilatory creams (Nair)
If one of our patients chooses a moderate or deep chemical peel, we often recommend a high-quality lotion to retain moisture. For patients with certain viral infections that normally only show symptoms under stress, I may prescribe an antiviral to avoid a breakout when the skin is stressed.
What to Expect After a Chemical Peel
It depends on the peel. With a superficial peel, you may be public-ready in just a few days. The skin peels for around 3-5 days, but it may stay red for up to a week. Ideally, if you are having a chemical peel on the face, you should plan to take a week off or work from home while the peeling and redness subside. If you are having it on your hands or neck, it can be easily covered after 2-3 days of rest. During this time, you should spend your time in a cool room and avoid sweating, which will sting. However, there’s no downtime. Most normal work and life activities are fine, but stay out of the gym for at least a week.
After a deep chemical peel, you’ll feel soreness for up to two weeks. You may need mild pain medications to manage the discomfort.
Only use a very mild cleanser and follow up with a moisturizer and sunscreen to protect the newly emerged skin. If you lived in an arid climate such as Arizona, you would need to be concerned about facial drying, which minimizes results. However, when getting chemical peels in Northern Virginia, humidity is generally sufficient as long as you use your lotion.
It can take around 10 days to see the full results of the procedure. Once fully healed, you can realistically expect your skin to look amazing for:
- Superficial = 2-3 months
- Moderate = Up to 6 months
- Deep = 10 years or more
How Often Should One Get a Chemical Peel?
You can have a superficial peel every 4-6 weeks to maintain the most youthful look possible. Keeping a regular appointment with your Aestheticianat a Med Spa can be just what you need to feel vibrant and confident at work and in life. For a moderate peel, wait at least 2-3 months. A deep peel is a one-time procedure for most individuals.
Possible Chemical Peel Side Effects
As with any procedure, there are risks, which your Aestheticiandiscusses with you before scheduling a procedure. Some patients may be at greater risk than others, and the deeper the peel, the greater the risk. The side effects of chemical peels may include:
- Temporary or permanent hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
- Reactivation (shedding) of Herpes virus in people who have I or II around the mouth. Antivirals reduce this risk significantly. Fifty percent of American adults have oral herpes.