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After being applied to the skin, chemical peels intentionally make the skin blister and then peel, although chemical peels are now considered safer than in years past and are less likely to leave skin feeling “raw.” (3) The purpose of peels is to remove dull surface skin cells, which typically leads to an improvement in fine lines, acne, discoloration and more.
During a medium chemical peel, your doctor will use a gauze, special sponge, or a cotton-tipped applicator to apply the chemical solution to your face. This may contain glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid. A blue color may be added to the trichloroacetic acid, commonly known as a blue peel. The skin will begin to whiten, and your doctor will apply a cool compress to the skin. You may feel stinging or burning for up to 20 minutes. No neutralizing solution is needed, though they may give you a hand-held fan to cool your skin. If you’ve had the blue peel you will have a blue coloring of your skin that may last for several days after the peel.
“Believe it or not, patients who are overweight are malnourished. What that means is that their capacity to heal is very poor,” says Grossman. “Patients who are malnourished have more seromas or fluid accumulations. In fact, about 50% of all patients will form a seroma when not stabilized nutritionally. So, at my practice we have an extensive approach to nutrition before and after the surgery.”
Additionally, recent studies have found that certain chemical peels can help reverse melasma, a type of hyperpigmentary disorder and “notorious dermatosis” that is often resistant to treatments, including laser treatments. (8) Melasma is a common chronic form of hyperpigmentation of the skin that can have a serious impact on someone’s self-esteem and quality of life.