Yes, all chemical peels require some downtime. Light flaking, irritation, and peeling usually occur for a few days after light peels. It can take up to six weeks for skin to return to its normal appearance following a medium chemical peel. Deep chemical peels are closer in nature to a surgical treatment—patients are usually asked to rest their skin for two weeks before they're able to resume normal activities or wear makeup. Skin may remain red in appearance for up to three months.
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.