Your skin and its concerns are unique, and few treatments can be customized to an individual level as well as a chemical peel. At Essential Med Clinic & Aesthetics, chemical peels are one of our favorite options for treating many different skin concerns. With so many options to choose from, we have a chemical peel that will provide your desired improvements on a schedule that fits your lifestyle.
What are Chemical Peels?
The outermost layers of your skin are made of tightly packed layers of dead, damaged skin cells. These layers protect you from the outside world, but they can also make your skin look dull and uneven. Chemical peels use acids of different strengths to separate these layers and peel them away. They are applied to the skin and left on for a specific amount of time before being neutralized or removed.
The lightest peels will only remove superficial layers to brighten and clarify your skin. The deepest peels remove many more layers, treating severe skin issues but with significant downtime. Most peels fall into a middle range that treats a broad range of skin concerns. This variety makes facial peels one of the most versatile treatment options available.
How Many Chemical Peels Are Needed to See Results?
Since chemical peels vary so widely, the number of peels needed to see your desired results will differ depending on your treatment plan. In general, lighter peels will require more treatments, but less downtime, while deeper peels will achieve results in fewer sessions but will require more downtime.
A light chemical peel is sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime peel” due to its convenience and lack of recovery time. These peels work on the outermost layers of skin, improving skin’s brightness and clarity without downtime or discomfort. They are a popular way to improve skin before a big event or any time it needs a boost.
The number of light peels needed depends on your skin concerns. A single light peel provides a youthful-looking glow, but cumulative sessions can produce deeper changes. Some people have a light peel on a regular basis to maintain their clear, smooth skin. Regular light peels are an excellent option for some treatment-resistant acne.
Medium peels strike a balance between effectiveness and downtime that works well for many people. These peels can address significant textural and pigmentation concerns as well as signs of aging. They will often have a few days of redness and possible peeling.
Two or three medium peels may be enough to treat your skin concerns, especially if they are more superficial. Those who want to address deeper pigmentation problems, wrinkles, and acne scars may need more than three. We will examine your skin during your consultation and tell you how many peels they expect you will need.
Deep peels are performed less often because they can have up to a few weeks of downtime. However, they are extremely effective at treating deep skin concerns such as scars, wrinkles, and actinic keratosis (a type of precancerous lesion caused by sun exposure).
Most people will only have one deep peel in a lifetime. Its powerful results can last for years. This type of peel is not suitable for everyone, and only a consultation can determine if you are a candidate. Unlike other types, deep peels are usually performed under general anesthesia for your comfort.
What Can Chemical Peels Treat?
Chemical peels can address numerous different skin conditions. While there is significant overlap, these peel levels are usually recommended for these concerns:
- Uneven skin tone
- Enlarged pores
- Fine lines
- Minor sun damage
- Moderate lines and wrinkles
- Acne scars
- Rough skin texture
- Moderate sun damage
- Deep lines and wrinkles
- Precancerous lesions
- Deep pigmentation problems
- Sagging skin
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Is There Any Downtime After a Chemical Peel?
Downtime after a chemical peel varies considerably depending on the intensity of the peel. Light peels generally have no downtime. Your skin may look pink or flushed for a short time after your peel, but in most cases, it looks bright and refreshed.
Downtime after a medium peel usually involves a few days of redness and sometimes minor peeling. The peeling is easily controlled with moisturizer, and you should avoid picking at any skin flakes that appear. You can resume your usual activities after treatment but may prefer a few days of social downtime.
A deep peel recovery takes a few weeks. Your skin will be swollen and sore, and it may blister. You will also experience significant peeling as your skin sheds the treated layers. As the treated skin peels away, you will start to see dramatically more youthful, smoother skin.
All chemical peels will make your skin more sun-sensitive, so wear sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure. Your Essential Med Clinic & Aesthetics team can recommend medical-grade skincare products to use after your peel to protect and boost your results.
How Often Should I Have a Chemical Peel?
Your chemical peel schedule will depend on the type of peel and how your skin responds to it. You can have light peels as often as every few weeks, and many people use them as part of their regular skincare routine. Most medium peels are scheduled every three to six months until you achieve your desired results, then once a year for maintenance. A deep peel is usually performed once, and no maintenance treatments are required.
What Does a Chemical Peel Feel Like?
A light chemical peel may cause a mild tingling sensation. Medium peels vary from a more intense tingling to some discomfort. We will discuss during your consultation what you can expect your peel to feel like and what level of sensation you are comfortable with. Deep peels would be very uncomfortable, but you are asleep throughout and will not feel anything.
Am I a Good Candidate for Chemical Peels?
Almost anyone can benefit from a chemical peel. Whether you choose light peels for gradual, progressive results or a deep peel for dramatic changes, we have an option right for your skin Good candidates should have reasonable expectations and understand the risks and benefits.
Chemical peels should not be used if you have an active skin condition, infection, or rash in the treatment area. You may also not be a good candidate if you are pregnant or have certain medical conditions.
Take the Next Step
If you have further questions about chemical peels, please call us at (210) 568-7555 or complete our online contact form, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you. Essential Med Aesthetics is located in San Antonio, Texas.