If you’re bothered by wrinkles or discolored skin, you may want to consider a chemical peel. This nonsurgical treatment takes about an hour and brings visible results in about a week. While the procedure is only minimally invasive, it’s not ideal for everyone. And if you’re a good candidate, you’ll want to time yours well.
Board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon Robert M. Schwarcz, MD, and his team offer chemical peels for clients seeking a more vibrant complexion. Here, we explain more about this procedure, including reasons to consider it.
How chemical peels work
Chemical peels remove the top layers of your skin to minimize common complaints, such as fine lines and pigmentation problems like scars and spots from sun damage. In many cases, they’re performed with topical anesthetics to ensure your comfort.
During the procedure, the top skin cells are removed with a combination of acids, such as trichloroacetic or glycolic acid. The intensity of this process varies from light to deep, depending on which type of peel you choose.
Afterward, as new skin is revealed, you can also benefit from boosted collagen and elastin production from natural healing processes triggered within your skin. This is important from an aging perspective, as you naturally produce less of these skin-enhancing substances over time.
Are you a good candidate for a chemical peel?
If you’re bothered by an uneven skin tone, signs of aging, or scarring on your skin, you may be a good candidate for a chemical peel. Ideal candidates also do NOT have:
- A history of abnormal or highly pigmented scarring
- Especially sensitive skin, due to a condition or skin medication
- Naturally dark skin
In addition, if you’ve had certain acne treatments within the last year, your provider may recommend waiting before scheduling a chemical peel. If you’re pregnant, you’ll need to wait as well.
Timing your chemical peel
After your chemical peel, it may take a while for your skin to fully heal. If you have a medium or deep peel, your skin may show some redness for up to a few months. While you’ll still be able to go about your daily life normally, you may want to avoid scheduling your treatment shortly before a major event, such as a wedding.
You should also time any deeper chemical peel in a way that allows you to take good care of your skin. You’ll need to avoid sun exposure while your complexion heals, so shortly before a beach vacation isn’t wise. For that reason, some people prefer to schedule chemical peels during winter months. You’ll also need to avoid makeup initially, until your provider gives you the go-ahead.
To learn more about chemical peels or to inquire about giving one a try, call one of our offices — in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and in Scarsdale, New York — to book an appointment with Dr. Schwarcz. You can also request a consultation using our online scheduling tool.