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Frequently Asked Questions about Chemical Peel Treatments

Posted By: Lic. Silvia Derasner | July 19th, 2021 | Blog

Are you thinking about getting a chemical treatment in Toronto? Read our detailed chemical peel FAQ to help you prepare.

skincare treatment

What is a chemical treatment?

Chemical peels address a number of cosmetic skin conditions and issues including acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, discolouration, and other blemishes or imperfections. The main purpose of a chemical peel is to create an even and smooth skin tone. This can be accomplished by removing or peeling away the top several layers of skin that have endured the most damage as a result of sun exposure and other external elements. Removing the top layers of the skin not only cleanses it, but also promotes healthy and reparative new skin cell regeneration that results in softer and more youthful looking skin.

What happens during a chemical peel?

First, your dermatologist will carefully examine the current condition of your skin and identify existing and potential problems you may have. Next, they’ll prepare your skin for the impact of the chemical peel by cleansing your skin thoroughly and opening up your pores.

If you’re undergoing a deep chemical peel treatment, then your doctor will most likely put you under general anesthesia. For medium or light chemical peels, they’ll most likely use a topical numbing agent to numb the treatment areas before applying the mixture.

Once the mixture is applied in an even layer on your skin, your dermatologist will allow it to stay there for a certain amount of time (about 3-5 minutes) to allow the chemicals to work their magic. During this time, you may feel a light stinging sensation on your skin, but don’t worry because means it’s working. The stinging sensation should subside after a few minutes once the mask is removed.

Who are the best candidates for a chemical peel?

Chemical peel treatment is ideal for treating a number of common skin conditions. Anyone who has frequent acne breakouts, deep-seated wrinkles, fine lines, scars, mild to severe sun damage, or any other blemishes on their skin is a perfect candidate for getting a chemical peel.

Using lactic acid, the top layer of the skin is removed. This allows salicylic acid to penetrate the remaining layers of skin to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from the pores while also reducing inflammation below the surface of the skin in the process. As a result, chemical peel skincare treatment can successfully address and correct several skin conditions simultaneously.

What are the best ingredients for peels?

The ingredients used in chemical peels vary depending on the required strength of the individual procedure. Light chemical peels only address superficial skin issues and only remove one or two layers of skin. Medium and deep chemical peels, on the other hand, address more complex skin issues and therefore require a stronger mixture of chemicals.

Chemical peels typically involve the use of alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) including lactic and glycolic acids, but they can also include beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) like salicylic acid which tends to go a lot deeper. The strength and chemical compounds used in your treatment will be determined by your dermatologist or doctor following an in-depth examination of your skin and your specific treatment needs.

Is one chemical peel treatment enough?

The number of chemical peel treatments required varies on an individual basis. Some patients have more deep-seated skin problems that need to be addressed, while others only have mild blemishes. Moreover, some patients have multiple skin issues that can be corrected by chemical skin treatment. Chemical skin treatments have anti-aging benefits, but they can also reduce and even eliminate hyperpigmentation, discolouration, uneven skin tones, age spots, sunspots, and so much more.

After thoroughly examining your skin before and after each treatment, your dermatologist will be able to tell you if further treatment is required. Keep in mind that some patients may require more frequent chemical peel sessions than others, but regular maintenance will also help prolong your results.

What should you do after the treatment?

In the days following your treatment, it’s extremely important to take good care of your skin. Your skin will feel a little sensitive and tender to the touch. You’ll also notice your skin peeling in some areas, but that’s perfectly normal as your body is shedding dead skin cells in preparation for a new layer of skin.

Take good care of your skin by washing it thoroughly with a recommended cleanser and moisturize often, so your skin can absorb moisture as it heals. Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and be sure to wear a mild sunscreen to protect your sensitive skin.

What can you expect after this type of anti-aging skincare treatment?

Recovery time varies depending on the type of chemical peel you had done. Light peels take about a week, during which time you’ll experience some redness and skin shedding. Medium peels can take 7 to 14 days, during which time your skin will be red and inflamed (lasts about 48 hours). Deep peels take about 14 to 21 days and the affected area will be bandaged during the recovery period.

How long will the results last?

Just like any other anti-aging treatment, the results of chemical skin peels are temporary. Eventually, you will start to develop wrinkles, age spots, sunspots, and other skin conditions. But with regular maintenance and at-home care, you can reduce the appearance of these skin conditions in the long-term.

What are the possible side effects?

Possible side effects include persistent redness, inflammation, temporary hyperpigmentation, temporary lighter skin tone, rarely some scarring.

What precautions should you consider?

During your initial consultation, your dermatologist will go over a list of important precautions you should take before and after your procedure. Come into your appointment with a fresh, clean face and refrain from using any facial cleansers, creams, serums that contain retinoid, benzoyle peroxide, AHAs, or salicylic acid as these can have adverse effects. Post treatment, you should continuously wash your face to avoid bacterial infections, stay out of the sun or wear sun protection, and moisturize your skin frequently.

What about at-home skincare treatment and exfoliation?

At-home skincare treatment and over-the-counter exfoliation products are a short-term solution to a long-term problem. While they can certainly address a few minor skin issues such as blemishes and non-hormonal acne, they fail to get to the root of the actual cause of more severe skin problems.

Exfoliation can only remove dirt and oil on the surface of your skin, but it can’t go skin deep like professional anti-aging treatment can. Another bonus of getting a clinical chemical peel is that it gives you the chance to have your skin examined by a licensed skincare professional that’s qualified to make specific treatment and at-home care recommendations that pertain to you.

Contact the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic today to learn more!

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