What is this treatment used for?

Also referred to as a chemical peel, a facial rejuvenation peel uses a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers. This treatment can help reduce the effects of acne, age or liver spots, fine lines or wrinkles, freckles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin or scaly patches, scars, or sun-damaged skin.

What occurs during this treatment?

Different intensities of facial rejuvenation peels are available. Light peels will only remove the outer layer of skin, or epidermis, while medium and deep depth peels will remove some of the middle layer of the skin, or dermis. A physician will clean your face, protect your eyes and hair, and then apply a chemical solution to the skin on your face. In a light peel, a neutralizing solution will be used to rinse the skin. Medium peels involve the use of cold compresses rather than a neutralizing solution, and deep peels are done in brief intervals to limit the exposure of the skin to the carbolic acid used in the treatment.

What care is required before this treatment?

You may be asked to start taking antiviral medication and use a retinoid cream and bleaching agent. These treatments will reduce the risk of infection, prevent changes to skin color, and shorten the recovery time. Before the treatment, avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. You’ll also need to cease cosmetic treatments such as facial scrubs, waxing, and the use of hair removal products in the week before your facial rejuvenation peel. Prior to a microdermabrasion treatment, you should avoid exfoliating creams, waxing, or tanning. The treatment should not be combined with laser surgery or chemical peel treatments.

What care is required after this treatment?

Your physician will provide you with instructions for cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting the treated skin. You’ll also need to schedule a follow-up visit to monitor how your skin is healing. Over-the-counter medication and ice packs can help relieve any pain or discomfort for light or medium peels. Your physician may prescribe painkillers after a deep peel. Continue to avoid direct sunlight and use sunscreen when necessary. You may also be asked to use a moisturizer and avoid certain products or procedures, such as exfoliating sponges. Makeup can be used to cover up redness. A light chemical peel can be repeated every two to five weeks. Medium depth peels can be repeated every three to nine months, while deep peels can only be performed once.

How long is the recovery time?

Medium and deep peels may involve sedation. If so, you should arrange for someone to give you a ride home. Temporary redness or changes in skin color may occur after a facial rejuvenation peel. These effects will typically heal within a week for light peels but can persist for a few weeks or even months with medium and deep peels.

Are there any risks associated with this treatment?

In rare cases, facial rejuvenation peels can cause scarring, a flare-up of the herpes virus, or a bacterial or fungal infection. Deep peels have some risk of heart, kidney, or liver damage due to the use of carbolic acid in the treatment. A physician may recommend that you avoid facial rejuvenation peels if you have taken acne medicine in the previous six months, have ridged areas on your skin due to scar tissue growth, have a dark complexion or abnormal skin pigmentation, or if you have frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores.