No Peeling After Beta Hydroxy Chemical Peel

I've had no peeling (no results) after having a beta lift chemical peel. Today is the 3rd day. Is this normal? I have oily/acne prone skin.

Doctor Answers 6

Yes, peeling from salicylic acid peels is variable

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By "beta lift" I am assuming that you had a salicylic acid chemical peel. Peeling is highly variable after salicylic acid peels in particular because it is such a light peel.

A lot of patients with oily complexions in particular tend to peel less than individuals with dry skin. Peeling generally occurs between days 3-5. If you are going to peel at all, it will have occurred by day 5.

Good luck!

San Diego Dermatologist

Chemical Peels without the Peel - ok

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Although we do we call a salicyclic acid or beta hydroxy peel and glycolic acid peel a "peel," it is not necessary to see skin peeling for it to be effective. The light chemical peels or lunch time peels are designed to have minimum to no downtime and may produce mild redness and some flaking but not over peeling like you would see with a 25 to 30% TCA peel.

Our patients like the effect of these peels and see improvement of the pigmentation of the skin, textures and even mild acne scars. Of course, you will need more than one to continue to see an improvement and will help to use products at home that contain hydroquinone to decrease pigmentation and tretinoin(retin A) to help with pigmentation, clogged pores and stimulate collagen production.

Chemical peels are a good place to start for someone who wants to start working on improving their skin or add to their acne treatment regimen. Make sure it is done my an aesthetician in a dermatologist 's or plastic surgeon's office so they can help monitor your progress and be there if there are complications.

Don't forget to let them know if you get cold sores (herpes) since you will need to be treated preventatively with acyclovir or Valtrex before your chemical peel.

Brenda Dintiman, MD
Fairfax Dermatologic Surgeon

It is too soon to see any flaking

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The flaking after a beta peel comes about 5-7 days later. Because it is very mild, some patients don't see much flaking at all each time. That is why a series of 3-5 beta peels is usually needed. Be patient and plan on doing one every 2 weeks until you get the desired effect.
Dr. David Hansen

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

You Get Results From A Chemical Peel Without Actually Peeling.

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Although we do call chemical exfoliation a chemical "peel," it is not necessary for your skin to actually peel for it to be effective. Light chemical peels are designed to have minimum to no downtime and may produce mild redness and some flaking.

The goal of a chemical peel is to smooth and improve the texture of the skin by lifting and removing dead skin cells by using blends of active ingredients. How a person reacts to these topical solutions can differ from person to person.

Many different factors play a role in the amount of exfoliation you get in your chemical peel treatment. The more oily your skin is, the less penetration you might get. On the contrary, if your skin is dehydrated or overly dry from retinols you may get a little more peeling than you had initially planned on. Also, medications, time of year, and thickness of your skin can play a big part of resurfacing or lack there of.

No matter the amount of peeling you receive, the acids used in the peels still provide valuable benefits to your skin. Just like working out, the more often you train the better shape you are in. The same goes for your skin.

David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

The beta-lift chemical peel is one of my favorites for a light peel

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The Beta-Lift chemical peel is a salicylic acid peel and it comes it 2 strengths: 2/0 and 3/0. These peels are classified as superficial peels and will not result in a lot of peeling. If your intention is to control acne, these peels should work well.

Even if you do not get any peeling, the solution enters the pores and is very anti-inflammatory. Studies show that the "anti-acne" effect last about a month, so in the beginning, repeated treatments are necessary.

Having some peeling is nice, however, as the skin becomes "rejuvenated" - softer, brighter. Typically, I start my patients with 2/0 and they get a light peel starting on day 3. Depending on their skin type and reaction to the 2/0, I typically increase to 3/0 on the next visit.

After several treatments with 3/0, there may be a decrease in the amount of peeling. There are methods to regulate the amount of peeling, for example, by the number of passes and the application technique.

Committing to a series (of about 5) will give the best results, and then one can space them out every 3 months or so for maintenance.

Felix Kuo, MD
Long Island Dermatologist

No visible peel can be quite normal

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Beta peels and other lunchtime peels may not cause a lot of visible peeling but will still help. The proof will be how your skin looks in 7-10 days.

Your doctor can make adjustments in the second of your series (most people get 3-6 over 4-6 months). How the skin is prepped and the amount of acid applied are just two of the many ways to vary the aggressiveness of light peels.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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.