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Education Library: Facial Peels

Introduction

Facial peels, also called Chemical Peels, are nonsurgical cosmetic treatments used to improve the appearance of facial skin (skin resurfacing). Aging, sun exposure, acne, mild scarring, wrinkles, and discoloration can cause facial skin to appear old, rough, leathery, and unattractive. Facial peels use chemical solutions to remove the top layers of skin. This promotes the growth of new skin. The new skin has a better texture and smoother appearance. Facial peels can result in radiant and healthier looking skin.

There are several types of facial peels from which to choose. Light or superficial facial peels can treat sun damage, fine wrinkles, and unevenly pigmented skin. Deeper facial peels remove more layers of skin for use with deep or coarse wrinkles. The benefits of deep facial peels may be apparent for many years.

Treatment

You should talk with your doctor about your concerns and expectations. Your doctor can examine your skin and help select the right type and depth of facial peel for you. Light or superficial facial peels are applied in a short amount of time. They are sometimes referred to as “lunch hour peels.” You may experience a mild tingling or stinging sensation. Initially, the skin may appear sunburned. It will peel in a few days following your treatment.

Deep facial peels may take a few hours to apply. You may feel a slight burning sensation or discomfort. Following the procedure, a layer of petroleum jelly or a tape mask is worn over the affected area for a few days. The new skin will emerge in just a few days.

You should avoid sun exposure and wear a sunblock following a facial peel. Depending on the type of chemical solution used, you may need multiple treatments. Your doctor can also recommend skin care products to help maintain your skin’s appearance.

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