Chemical peels rarely result in serious complications, but certain risks do exist. These risks include scarring, infection, swelling, changes in skin tone, and cold sore outbreaks. You can reduce the risks associated with facial peels by following all of the doctor’s instructions completely and by providing your doctor with a complete medical history.
Your cosmetic dermatologist will use a specific formula for your chemical peel based on the characteristics of your skin and your desired result. Light chemical peels are used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation, and acne. The solution used for light chemical peels is usually comprised of alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit acids. Light chemical peels are ideal for people who want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to spend the time required to recover from a deeper peel.
There sure are. Peels are formulated as light, medium, or deep chemical treatments, based on the chemicals used and how they are formulated. The treatment that's right for you will depend on what you're hoping to treat and how much downtime you're willing to endure. You should always consult with your dermatologist before undergoing any chemical peel.
“We want you up walking right away after surgery,” says Jack. “This is crucial because it’s the most effective way to reduce risk of blood clot formation. It will also help keep your body from becoming stiff and tight, keep the tissues soft and relaxed, and will speed along resolution of swelling. On the flip side though, don’t do too much, too early.”
They come in a range of strengths, from deeper phenol-based peels to more superficial peels like glycolic acid. Deeper peels may not be right for everyone, particularly if you have sensitive skin. A few light or medium-depth peels can often achieve similar results to one deeper peel treatment, with less risk and a shorter recovery time. Talk to a qualified provider about your goals to see if a chemical peel would work for your concern and skin.
Before the procedure even begins, the professional who’s going to perform the procedure will first apply a chemical solution — usually trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol) on small areas of your skin. Doing so can create a controlled wound, allowing the new skin to take its place.
Keep in mind that after a chemical peel, your skin will temporarily be more sensitive to the sun and any products you apply. Be sure to wear sunscreen (ideally one that’s broad spectrum and above SPF 30) and consider limiting the time you spend directly in the sun for several weeks. To protect your skin from irritation, also talk to your dermatologist before a peel about whether you should stop using certain types of products or medications — including those used to treat cold sores, Retin-A, Renova, glycolic acid or some antibiotics.
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.
But if you try it and then decide to stop, what happens? “There’s this myth that if you stop using Botox, your face will look wrinkly and your features will cascade into a degenerative state you never had,” says Toronto cosmetic surgeon Dr. Stephen Mulholland, whose average Botox patient is age 40. But in fact, he says, if you stop, your face returns to its normal animation, and facial muscles return to normal strength. (Of course, you have aged slightly since you were injected, which may be apparent when it wears off.)
Deep peels must be performed by a medical doctor and can take 14 to 21 days to heal. Deep peels require special aftercare including antiviral medication, ointments and follow-up visits, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. The chemical solution used for deep peels may be phenol or trichloroacetic acid, which both reach far into the middle layer of your skin and remove damaged skin cells. Phenol chemical peels may require sedation and should only be done on the face, as the skin on the hands and neck is too thin. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explains this procedure may only be performed one time on a patient and is not recommended for people with darker skin or freckles, as it can cause hypopigmentation. Deep peels may cost anywhere from $3,500-$5,000—not including the doctor’s fees.
BDD is a disorder resulting in the sufferer becoming "preoccupied with what they regard as defects in their bodies or faces." Alternatively, where there is a slight physical anomaly, then the person’s concern is markedly excessive. While 2% of people suffer from body dysmorphic disorder in the United States, 15% of patients seeing a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeons have the disorder. Half of the patients with the disorder who have cosmetic surgery performed are not pleased with the aesthetic outcome. BDD can lead to suicide in some of its sufferers. While many with BDD seek cosmetic surgery, the procedures do not treat BDD, and can ultimately worsen the problem. The psychological root of the problem is usually unidentified; therefore causing the treatment to be even more difficult. Some say that the fixation or obsession with correction of the area could be a sub-disorder such as anorexia or muscle dysmorphia. The increased use of body and facial reshaping applications such as Snapchat and Facetune have been identified as a potential triggers of BDD. Recently, a phenomenon referred to as 'Snapchat dysmorphia' has appeared to describe people who request surgery to resemble the edited version of themselves as they appear through Snapchat Filters.
She advises me that there are many conspiracies around botox- staying up right for more than two hours, is false for starters. ‘The solution takes 20 minutes to settle in your muscles, so I do advise you to stay upright for then, any longer wont make a difference’. She does however advise me not to undertake exercise that’s too strenuous or hot following the treatment (fine by me) and to carefully wash my face when I get home, not scrubbing or rubbing too hard.
Deep chemical peels involve a longer procedure and longer recovery time that lasts up to several months in some cases. Patients who want to correct blotches caused by sun exposure or age, minimize coarse wrinkles, or remove a pre-cancerous growth may benefit from a deep peel. There are certain factors which must be taken into consideration when contemplating a deep chemical peel. Darker-skinned patients and individuals with heart problems are not ideal candidates. Potential chemical peel candidates should be aware that the treatment may take an hour or more, and may require sedation. Anyone who decides on this procedure should be prepared for a long, slow recovery period, and should wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sun.