How Long Do Skin Peels Take to Heal?
Bloomfield Hills, MI– Wrinkles. Acne scars. Sun damage. Pigment changes or irregularities. These and other problems are common reasons for getting a chemical peel done.
“Chemical peels are a great solution for evening out your skin and revitalizing it overall,” says Detroit-area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali. “While destroying old skin cells, this process allows new, healthy cells to emerge and grow.”
Healing Time: It Depends
Since there are several kinds of chemical peels used for skin treatment, recovery times also vary. All in all, depending on the type of peel used, skin usually heals itself in anywhere from one day to several months.
Dr. Ali explains, “There are three main classes of chemical peels: superficial, medium, and deep. Each one uses different chemicals and application lengths, and each affects the skin differently. We at Amae Medspa very much customize our treatments; we offer nine types of chemical peels and devise a care plan unique to each person.”
In superficial peels, the target is removing only the outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis. First, the skin is cleaned and then a combination of mild acids is used to expose younger, healthier skin beneath the surface.
The acid is left on the skin for a few minutes and then neutralized with alcohol or water, which stops the chemical reaction. While the chemicals are on the skin, many people report feeling a burning sensation, which can easily be relieved using a handheld fan.
Immediately afterwards, the skin will peel a bit and will likely turn pink. Though it might take redness a little while to subside, it is still safe to wear makeup after the procedure. Typical healing time is just a few days.
Medium peels typically use similar chemicals to those in a superficial peel, but the mixture is kept on the skin longer: up to about 30-40 minutes, depending on the skin’s condition and desired results.
These peels are more painful, as the targeted areas are both the epidermis and top portion of the dermis. Pain relievers and oral sedatives are sometimes offered to help with the discomfort. A fan or cool compress may also alleviate any burning sensations.
Due to the nature of this treatment, a longer healing time should be anticipated. After a few days, skin will likely begin to crust and peel, only fully healing after a week or so. It’s best not to wear makeup for the first week after treatment, as this can slow the healing process. Typical healing time is approximately 5-7 days.
As the name implies, deep peels target the deepest layer of the dermis possible without causing long-term damage. While it’s the most aggressive and painful treatment, it also provides the most dramatic and long-lasting results. With this procedure, it’s best to wait two weeks or more before using makeup again. Skin will likely take a few months to completely heal and repair, so antibiotics and/or antivirals may be prescribed to keep infections at bay. Typical healing time is anywhere from three weeks to two months.
Achieving Optimal Results
Pre- and post-peel care is crucial for achieving healthy, lasting results. Preparation for a chemical peel should be done two to three weeks beforehand and consists of washing the face twice daily, applying a special moisturizing cream once or twice each day, using sunscreen, and avoiding direct sunlight. These measures will ensure more even results and allow skin to heal faster after treatment.
After a peel, the acne medication Retin-A (tretinoin) is sometimes used to promote healing. To prevent viral infections, acyclovir or a similar prescription may be given especially to those who have had cold sores and had a chemical peel near the eyes or mouth.
Like pre-peel care, it’s also important to liberally apply sunscreen and limit sun exposure after a peel. Moisturizers should also be used for several weeks afterwards. This course of action keeps skin healthy and able to heal itself more efficiently.
To get started on your way to smoother skin, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ali today! You can also call 855-335-7200 to speak with the office directly.
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