Chemical Peel Advice

If you have never done a chemical peel and your skin isn't that bad (some acne scars here and there, few uneven skin textures, few age spots) should you go ahead with the peel? Would you have to continue doing so after you done it once? If you don't, how would it affect you or your skin?

Doctor Answers 2

Skin care and chemical peel for healthier & more youthful skin

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Cosmetic results from a chemical peel are mostly dependent on depth of peel, chemical agent, and your skin quality. Patients get better results with deeper peels; however, the recovery time and potential risks are higher.

Generally speaking fruit peels are very superficial and do not go deep into the skin. Consequently, the results are minimal and treatment must be repeated multiple times to appreciate an effect. Recovery is quick though.

Any treatment which goes deeper into the skin must be performed by a physician. Lastly, skin care starts before and continues after the peel, which your physician can help manage.

Don't jump to Botox Cosmetic or a chemical peel before starting with the skin basics. Other skin care treatments such as cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, and toning come after these initial basics are implemented.

Sun Protection
Even the little bits of sun exposure during routine daily activities (ie. walking to your car) add up over a lifetime. Utilize daily sunscreen ,which blocks both UVA and UVB, covering hats, and sunglasses to help protect your skin.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your appearance reflects the food you eat. We all know fresh fruits and vegetables are great for muscles, bones, and your vital organs, but the natural vitamins and minerals are also great for your skin. Too many calories end up being converted to fat, usually in your hips, abdomen, legs, neck, and face.

Get Adequate Sleep
Inadequate sleep does more than promote baggy eyelids. Poor sleep also contributes to increase facial wrinkles and skin sallowness. The ideal of at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep may be difficult for our busy lives. However, even small cat-naps during the day are beneficial.

Avoid Smoking
One can usually spot a long-time smoker based on a picture alone. Premature skin aging is notorious in this population. Today there are many options to help quit this habit.

Keep Well Hydrated
The entire adult human body is mostly water, including the skin. Water naturally hydrates your body and helps prevent dry skin. Well hydrated skin functions better and can help maintain youthful appearance. Eight glasses of water a day is the recommended minimum amount of water intake. Athletes and active people, more is needed to replace the fluid they excrete through perspiration.

Be Gentle
Wash your face with gentle cleansers. Strong cleansers may be harmful to sensitive skin. Wipe dry with a soft cloth, and don't rub hard. Aggressive manipulation of the skin may irritate the skin and cause redness and swelling.

Speak with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who treats cosmetic skin conditions, who can perform a comprehensive examination and determine which facial treatment would be most appropriate for you. Best of luck.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Chemical peel advice

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Depending on the depth of the peel, you may need several peels to achieve the desired results. Following the peel, if you do not observe good sun protection and maintain your skin with a good skincare regimen, the sun-damaged skin will come right back. Some of my patients who really like the effects of the light peels have them done as frequently as once a month. Medium depth peels should have more durable, even indefinite effects on skin texture and acne scars.

Hope that helps.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.