Chemical Peel Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of chemical peels?

A: Chemical peels can diminish fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, scarring and melanoma, and improve the skin’s texture and appearance.  They can also be used to treat certain types of acne and minimize the risk of some skin cancers.

Q: How are chemical peels performed?

A: After the client’s initial consultation and skin analysis, a two-week skin care regimen prior to the chemical peel may be recommended.  On treatment day the skin is thoroughly cleansed, and a chemical solution designed specifically for each client’s skin is applied to the treatment area.

Q: Is a chemical peel painful?

A: Most clients may experience skin tightening, heat or a slight tingling sensation, but not pain.  However, sometimes a pin pricking or stinging feeling may occur.  More aggressive chemical peels can intensify these sensations. An activity scale is used to gauge each client’s sensitivity level and ensure their comfort during the procedure.

Q: What is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) Peel?

A: Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is an organic acid compound found in many foods that contains exfoliating properties. Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is very similar to AHA except it is lipid-soluble, a property that allows it to penetrate into the skin. It may cause light peeling and flaking.

Q: Is there a recovery time for a peel? If so, how long?

A: It depends.  Most clients’ skin is fully healed in 3-10 days, depending on the type and strength of the peel.  Although treatments can cause redness, tightness or peeling, some clients may not experience any side effects – except a smooth, radiant complexion.  Avoiding sun exposure, strenuous exercise, hot tubs, saunas, and following all post-treatment guidelines will facilitate recovery.

Q: What should I stop using or doing before my peel?

A: Topical prescription gels or creams containing AHA or BHA, or retinoids should not be used 5-to-7 days prior to a chemical peel.  Also, facial injections and waxing should be avoided at least 72 hours before treatment.  However, clients with a history of cold sores around the mouth area should take medication to prevent a recurrence, as a chemical peel may cause an outbreak.

Q: Will I need additional peels to see a difference?

A: More than one treatment over the course of several weeks or months is usually required for more damaged skin, however clients with healthier skin may require only one treatment.

Q: How long will the chemical peel results last?

A: The quality of a daily skincare regimen after a peel will help to determine the longevity of its results, and varies from client to client.  As the skin continues to age naturally, quality home skincare and monthly maintenance facials or peels is essential to keeping the skin healthy and beautiful.

Q: Will I be able to wear makeup after a chemical peel?

A: Makeup can be work the next day after a chemical peel.

Q: Should I take any medications before a chemical peel?

A: If you have a history of cold sores or herpes virus around your mouth area, you should take medications to prevent the recurrence of the virus. A chemical peel may cause an outbreak that can be prevented by these medications.

Q: Can a chemical peel reduce the risk of skin cancer?

A: A chemical peel may reduce the risk of skin cancer by exfoliating mutated cells from the skin’s surface, and improving sun-damaged skin which may contain pre-cancerous lesions.

Q: What is the difference between a chemical peel and a facial?

A: Both are very beneficial treatments for your skin. The chemical peel applications performed at Skin Therapy of Charlotte are medical grade peel solutions to help correct a variety of skin conditions and maintain your skin’s health by increasing cellular renewal rate. A facial is a much more relaxing and lengthy treatment done to maintain healthy skin that is not in need of as much correction.

Q: How is a chemical peel different from a facial?

A: A chemical peel using medical-grade acid solutions ranging from the gentle AHA and BHA acid peels to the more aggressive trichloroacetic acid (TCA) helps correct many skin conditions and increases the rate of cellular renewal.  A customized facial is a relaxing, luxurious, more lengthy treatment for your skin that doesn’t require much correction.   It helps maintain healthy, rejuvenated, youthful-looking skin.