The skin is your body’s largest organ. Its job is to cover and protect internal tissue and organs. However, since it forms the outermost surface of the body, its appearance is something a lot of people are concerned about.
Unfortunately, with time, your skin can undergo natural changes and become exposed to elements that could negatively affect its aesthetic appearance. The good news is that there are several cosmetic treatments that can be used to improve the appearance of the skin, chemical peels being among the most popular ones. But what is a chemical peel, and how effective can it be?
Here is everything you need to know about this cosmetic treatment.
What Is a Chemical Peel, and What Skin Imperfections Can It Improve?
Chemical peels can be understood as chemical solutions used to treat skin imperfections by removing the outer damaged layers. In most cases, the treatments are used on the face, but they can also be used on other areas of your body, including the hands and the neck. These treatments are effective in improving a wide variety of skin imperfections.
Some of the most common issues that chemical peels might improve include:
- Acne scars
- Rough skin
- Scaly patches
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Sun-damaged skin
- Irregular skin pigmentation
However, it is important to note that chemical peels may not be effective in treating deep scars. Besides, these cosmetic solutions will not help with tightening loose skin.
How Chemical Peels Work
Chemical peels are usually provided by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or licensed aestheticians. There are several types of chemical peels: light chemical peels, medium chemical peels, and deep chemical peels. Your provider will help you choose the right treatment depending on the nature of the skin imperfections to be addressed and the results to expect to have. Your provider will adjust the formula to be used to meet your particular needs. Your provider will then apply the chemical carefully to the treatment area and use the appropriate technique to remove damaged layers of skin. It is important to remember that depending on the type of chemical peel you choose to have, anesthesia may be necessary to make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
Chemical Peel Risks
Like other cosmetic treatments, chemical peels are not without risks. Some of the risks associated with chemical peels include:
- Skin redness, swelling, and scabbing
- Skin discoloration
- Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections
- Kidney, heart, or liver damage
- Unfavorable scarring
During your initial appointment with your provider, the risks will be discussed in detail. Besides, your provider will check your medical records, perform a physical exam, and conduct some tests to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Remember that choosing a licensed, experienced provider will go a long way in making the treatment much safer for you.
The Cost of Chemical Peels
Every case is unique in some way, and the cost of treatment can vary depending on the type of chemical peel performed and the expertise of the provider you choose. But according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of the treatment is about $520.
FAQs About Chemical Peels
Are chemical peels safe?
Light and medium chemical peels are generally safe as long as they are applied correctly. However, deep chemical peels are riskier, and they must be applied by qualified physicians. Therefore, if you want to have a chemical peel, you need to ensure that the provider you choose is adequately trained, licensed, and experienced to minimize the risk of getting hurt.
Are chemical peels painful?
The procedure is generally painless. However, you may experience a little tingling and tightness. The treatment may also increase skin sensitivity. To minimize the possibility of discomfort and irritation on the newly resurfaced skin, you may be advised to avoid exfoliating for at least 48 hours after the treatment. You will also have to avoid the gym for about 24 hours to avoid irritation.
Do chemical peels have downtime?
Unfortunately, chemical peels require downtime. Indeed, after a medium or deep chemical peel, the skin may take up to three weeks to heal. Therefore, you may need to spend a couple of hours at home. However, although the skin will heal in a few weeks, skin redness may persist for several months. But this should not keep you from going back to your day-to-day activities after the two weeks of recovery. All in all, you may have to continue wearing sunscreen to prevent sun damage.
How long do chemical peel results last?
This depends on the type of chemical peel to decide to get. The results of a light or superficial chemical peel will last for two to three months while those of a medium chemical peel should last about six months. On the other hand, the results of a deep chemical peel might last more than a few years or even a lifetime.