Chemical Peel Before And After Treatment: What to Expect?

What do you feel when you hear the word chemical peel? You probably think that something shady would happen to your face. But chemical peels present a wide range of healthy and cosmetic privileges.

A promising chemical peel uplifts skin texture and color. It oversees chronic skin disorders and even has anti-aging benefits. Curious to know more about it?

Read on as we will discuss everything related to deep chemical peel before and after treatment in this article today.

What is a Chemical Peel & Why Do You Need It?

Chemical Peel Before And After


A chemical peel is a facial treatment used to remove dead cells from the skin surface to uncover new skin. 

Your dermatologist will apply a chemical mixture to the skin to exfoliate its upper layer. This cosmetic solution can help eliminate several skin problems, including wrinkles, acne, fine lines, dark spots, and pigmentation irregularities.

Remember, it is crucial to discuss your medical record with your dermatologist before having this treatment. These details include any medical conditions you have and the medications you are taking. The experts will use this knowledge to find whether a chemical peel is suitable for you.

Types Of Chemical Peels You Can Have

Chemical Peel Before And After


Light Chemical Peel

A light chemical peel or superficial peel will help exfoliate your skin. With it, your dermatologist will remove only the epidermis, the first layer of your skin. 

This chemical peel is helpful to correct fine wrinkles, acne, dry skin, and uneven skin tone.

This treatment uses mild chemical methods, so it is safe to get it done every three to five weeks.

Medium Chemical Peel

Medium chemical treatment is a little more powerful than a light chemical peel. It wipes out your epidermis plus the topmost layer of the dermis. 

Such a treatment is beneficial for treating wrinkles and acne scars. You may take several sessions to get the desired results.

Deep Chemical Peel

A deep chemical peel helps the doctor remove the epidermis, an upper and middle layer of your dermis. It takes overly strong chemicals to conduct the treatment. So you may need an anesthetic dose before the process. 

Deep chemical treatment is best for problems like deeper wrinkles, scars, and precancerous skin patches. Also, you would not need continuous treatments as the outcomes of this peel can last longer than ten years.

Wondering, “Am I A Good Candidate For A Chemical Peel”?

before and after chemical peel


To be precise, doctors will not advise you to have chemical peels if you have wrinkles or deep scars. It is also not suitable to heal sagging skin. 

Most healthy people can receive chemical peels, but some cannot. It is because some conditions and skin traits can hinder chemical peel before and after results. These conditions include:

  • Persons receiving an acne treatment 
  • Family history related to scar tissue irregularities such as keloid scars
  • Breastfeeding women or women trying to get pregnant
  • Anyone with lesions, infections, or chronic skin diseases
  • People who spend long hours under the sun
  • People with dark skin tone as they are at a high risk of pigmentation problems related to chemical peels
  • Psoriasis or atopic dermatitis patients
  • Those with a weak immune system
  • People who have undergone radiation therapy or surgeries 
  • Patients with heart, lung, or liver disease

Detailed Chemical Peel Before And After Scenarios

Chemical Peel Before And After


Before a Chemical Peel

Once you decide that a chemical peel is right for you, your dermatologist will make a preparation plan for you, which may include:

  • Having an antiviral medicine to avoid skin infections.
  • Applying a topical retinoid cream a few weeks before treatment to facilitate cell turnover and reduce recovery time after treatment.
  • Use of bleaching agents like hydroquinone weeks before your treatment. It can help prevent hyperpigmentation chemical peel before and after.
  • Use of sunscreen every day to avoid sun exposure.
  • Applying moisturizer regularly to keep the skin hydrated.
  • Discontinuing the use of particular cosmetic products, hair removals, and face masks.
  • No shaving or waxing at least 24 hours before the chemical peel.

During a Chemical Peel

In Light Chemical Peel:

  • Your doctor will use a cotton ball, sponge, or brush to apply a chemical solution. The solution contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid, which will begin your skin to whiten. You may sense stinging on your skin during this session.
  • After that, your doctor will apply a neutralizing lotion to remove the chemical from your treated skin. 

In Medium Chemical Peel:

  • Your doctor will use gauze to apply a chemical mixture that contains trichloroacetic acid. The treated skin will turn pale.
  • After a few moments, they will use cool compresses to relax the skin. No neutralizing mixture is given during this session. You might experience burning up to 20 minutes.

In a deep chemical peel, before and after processes are a bit different. 

  • First, you will receive intravenous (IV) fluids.
  • You will then be applied phenol with a cotton-tipped applicator. The treated skin will start turning white and gray. 

To avoid your phenol frontage, your doctor will divide the whole chemical peel procedure into portions of about fifteen-minute intervals. A whole-facial process might take up to ninety minutes.

What Would You Expect After Chemical Peel?

before and after chemical peel


During the first few hours, you may feel redness, irritation, or swelling in your skin. You can use petroleum jelly or ointments to cleanse and moisturize your skin. Also, over-the-counter medicines would be very effective.

Within 3-4 days, your skin may begin peeling off. Scars will become more visible. You may also notice from your photos of chemical peel before and after, some black skin in the later pictures. Don’t worry though.

After 5-7 days, all side effects (including darker skin) begin vanishing. Your skin will start looking better than before. In a maximum period of seven to fourteen days, you will notice the appearance of healthy and fresh skin.

However, in the case of a deep chemical peel, you will encounter severe redness and blotching. 

You may also feel swelling that may even render your eyelids look swollen. You can consult your doctor to treat the skin. He may prescribe painkillers and ointments to ease the distress.

Risks Or Complications Before And After Chemical Peel

before and after chemical peel


A chemical peel can result in several side effects, including:

  • Redness and swelling in the treated skin might last for months.
  • Increased hyperpigmentation (Instead of treating hyperpigmentation, chemical peel before and after processes can make it more awful.)
  • Fungal, viral, or bacterial infections, such as the herpes virus. These may induce cold sores.
  • Deep chemical peels use phenol, which can harm heart muscles. Phenol can also damage your kidneys and liver. To limit your exposure to phenol, have deep chemical peels after 10 to 20-minute intervals.

Also Read: Mottled Skin: Treatment, Causes, Symptoms And More

Precautions To Follow Before And After a Chemical Peel 

before and after chemical peel


  • Avoid using a tanning mask at least two weeks before a chemical peel since it will increase the risk of skin cancer and stimulate aging signs.
  • A person getting acne treatment needs to stop using Renova, Tazorac, Differin, EpiDuo, Avage, or Ziana six days before getting treatment.
  • Do not skip using sunscreen.
  • Avoid going to the gym a day before a chemical peel.
  • Do not use aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines such as Advil before a chemical peel.
  • Do not apply ice packs or water to the treated areas. Also, avoid using makeup on the day of treatment because the skin requires time to relax.
  • Do not perform strenuous activities for the first two days after a chemical peel.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 7-10 days.
  • Avoid going to steam rooms, hot tubs, saunas, or swimming as heating can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Avoid the usage of glycolic acids and retinol after chemical peel process for at least ten days. 

Most importantly, you must not have another chemical peel session until your dermatologist recommends you to have it. Also, if you notice increased irritation, redness, or hyperpigmentation, you should contact your skin care professional.

Heading To Better Outlook

Cosmetic procedures do not bring back your youth overnight. Their results will rely on the time you invest and your faith in the treatment and at-home care. 

Have patience if you see unexpected consequences before and after a chemical peel. Also, get in touch with your dermatologist to know about your results from time to time.

We hope you’ve taken your decision regarding having a chemical peel. Still, have questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments below.

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