There are many things that can damage the skin on your face, from the sun to acne. One of the most non-invasive ways to rejuvenate your skin is to have a chemical peel. Chemical peels can be performed on the face or anywhere on the body.

The Procedure

There are three types of chemical peels:

  • Light chemical peel - This procedure provides subtle results that last a short time. It is recommended that you have this procedure done at least once a month for maximum benefit. The light chemical peel is brushed onto your face and left for about 10 minutes. It is then washed away. There may be some slight stinging.
  • Medium chemical peel - With this procedure, your skin will be noticeably smoother and cleaner. This procedure only needs to be done once every six to 12 months. The medium chemical peel is brushed onto your face and left for only a few minutes. It is then washed away and a cool saline compress is applied to cool the area. The skin may turn a whitish grey before healing. Your skin may take up to six weeks to fully heal.
  • Heavy chemical peel - In this procedure, the results are much more dramatic but the recovery will take much longer. This procedure only needs to be done once a year. The heavy chemical peel is brushed onto your face and left on for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to two hours. Your face will need to be given an anesthetic before the procedure. After, you will have to keep petroleum jelly on your face for at least the two days following the procedure. The results are much more dramatic than the light and medium peels.

Risks

  • Redness of the skin
  • Loss of skin pigmentation
  • Scarring
  • Hyperpigmentation

A chemical peel cannot...

  • Treat deep facial lines
  • Tighten skin
  • Stimulate collagen
  • Remove/Repair broken capillaries
  • Treat scars
  • Change pore size

If you have one of the following conditions a chemical peel may not be right for you:

  • Abnormal pigmentation
  • Facial warts
  • Fair skin
  • You used certain acne treatments within the last year
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