The Journey of A Chemical Peel Before And After Treatment


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If you are someone who is dealing with wrinkles, discoloring of the skin, scars, and dull skin on the face, legs, or even on your hands, then a chemical peel is a process that can help you get over these problems or at least make it a lot better. The chemical procedure starts with applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove the top layers, usually the ones that are more damaged or dull. The peel can be light, medium, or deep, depending on your condition. 

After whatever procedure you go for, whether lighter or deeper, you just have to wait for the skin to grow back, which will be a lot better and healthier compared to the one removed. The growing back of the skin depends on which procedure you choose, if you go for a lighter peel, then it will not take long to get better, but if you choose a deeper peel, then it will take a little longer for the skin to recover from. As you now know what journey we are talking about here, let's get right into it and dig a little deeper.

Types of Chemical Peels

As we discussed above, there are three ways you get your skin treated with chemical peels, depending on your condition. Let's now get to know a little more about the procedure in depth.

Light Chemical Peels

A light peel, also known as superficial peel, helps remove the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. In this process, you have a light peel every two to five weeks, and mild chemicals like alpha-hydroxy acid are used to exfoliate the skin gently.

Medium Chemical Peels

In medium peels, the chemicals like trichloroacetic or glycolic acid are used to get to the dermis, which is the upper part of the middle skin layer from the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). Medium peels need to be repeated from time to time to achieve the desired result. This process is a little deeper than the light peel treatment, which makes it easier to remove the damaged skin cells.

Deep Chemical Peels

For deep peels, you have to be extra careful as it requires a lot of care and extra attention after you have done with the process. Deep peels remove your skin cells on a deeper level which can cause redness, swelling, burns, and other reactions, which is normal in this process but takes a few weeks to go away or even months. There are just a few precautions you have to take, like not going out in the sun and avoiding cosmetics and makeup use, and following instructions only from your doctor in this process.

Lastly, this process does not need to be repeated to get the full potential like the other ones.

Chemical Peel Before And After

Chemical Peel Before and After

Here are a few guidelines for the chemical peel before and after the procedure to make it a little smooth and easy.

How Do You Prepare Before Chemical Peel

The first and most important part is to find the right doctor to deal with your issues. The dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon you go for must have ample knowledge of the chemical peel and understand your skin completely to make the procedure smooth and easy for you. The peeling process is very sensitive, so it has to be done properly and carefully, or else it can result in severe infections and reactions which can cause permanent scars. 

Check Up Procedure

After finding the right doctor, you may go through the steps below to prepare your skin for the chemical peel process, and your doctor will do the following:

You should be well prepared when you visit your doctor for questions about your past and current skin and medical conditions or medications. They review your medical history before getting started with the procedure, as it is crucial for a doctor to understand your situation before getting involved in your case. After that, the doctor will inspect the area that needs to be treated with a chemical peel to determine what type will suit you better. Lastly, when your doctor discusses the treatment with you, do not hesitate to ask questions and talk about your needs, expectations, motivations, and risks you expect. You should know everything about what you are getting and what you will face after that, as chemical peeling before and after is a sensitive procedure that needs extra attention.

What to Avoid Before Chemical Peel

Before getting a chemical peel, it is important to follow certain guidelines: 

Firstly, avoid using any retinol or retin-A topical medication for 48 hours prior to the peel treatment. It is also important to inform your skin care specialist about any medications you are currently taking. If you have been on Accutane, you must wait at least six months before getting a chemical peel. If you have a history of fever blisters or cold sores, taking an antiviral medication beforehand can prevent a breakout around the mouth. To improve the effects of the treatment, using special lotions like glycolic acid lotion is recommended. Additionally, using a retinoid cream can help prevent skin darkening. 

In preparation for the treatment, stop waxing, epilating, or using depilatory hair removal products a week before the peel and avoid hair bleaching. It is also important to stop using facial scrubs and exfoliants for a week before the treatment. 

Finally, for medium or deep chemical peels that require sedation, arrange for a ride home and follow your doctor's instructions regarding any prescribed painkillers or sedatives.

What to Expect After the Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are a common procedure to improve the appearance of skin by removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells. The recovery time after a chemical peel varies depending on the type of peel you receive.

  • If you had a light chemical peel, you can expect to recover in about four to seven days. During this time, your skin may appear lighter or darker than usual.
  • If you go for a medium chemical peel, it will take about five to seven days for your skin to recover. You may experience redness that persists for several months. Initially, your skin may swell, form crusts, and develop brown spots before the new skin is revealed.
  • If you have gone through a deep chemical peel, you can expect severe swelling and redness accompanied by burning or throbbing sensations. Your eyelids may even swell shut. The development of new skin may take up to two weeks, and you may have white spots or cysts that last several weeks. Redness can last for several months.

Final Takeaway

Following your doctor's post-operative instructions is essential to get the desired results. The doctor provides specific instructions on how often to wash your face and moisturize, as well as which products to use. It's also essential to avoid the sun until your skin has healed and not to use makeup or other cosmetics until your doctor gives you approval. Lastly, you can use ice packs for 20 minutes at a time or a cool fan to help overcome any discomfort at home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Chemical peels can improve skin texture, reduce fine lines, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation, resulting in a more radiant and youthful appearance.

Light peels are generally more affordable, with prices starting as low as $150.

Deep peels can be more expensive, often ranging from $3,000 or more, especially if they require anesthesia or in-patient stays.


Bianca Meadows, the seasoned beauty expert, brings her extensive writing experience to our website. With a flair for captivating storytelling and deep knowledge of skincare, makeup, and haircare, her concise yet informative articles empower readers to enhance their beauty routines.