Redness with Chemical Peels


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Being treated with a chemical peel involves the outer layer of skin cells (epidermis) being dissolved that stimulates the healing process, yielding new skin cells and an improved complexion. This process occurs as a result of an acidic component contained within the chemical peel, which creates a controlled wound. Like when wounded in everyday circumstances the skin may appear red as the dead cells are damaged.

Redness usually leaves the skin when it has been fully healed.

Why redness occurs after a chemical peel

After being treated by any strength of chemical peel, it is expected that the client will suffer from redness, itchiness and flaking skin. Although after a deep phenol peel these side effects will be more pronounced than post- superficial peel anyone considering a chemical peel should realise that redness is an expected but temporary side effect of a peel.  The skins recovery from a chemical peel ranges from months (deep peel) to approximately 4 days (superficial peels).

Also, after a chemical peel the skin becomes more sensitive to UV radiation from the sun and, consequentially, it is vital to continue a good sun skincare plan. The application of sunscreen should be essential regardless of whether of not the skin has been chemically peeled.  As the skin is more likely to burn, redness of the skin post-peel is more likely to precede sunburn.

Reducing redness post-peel

Although tempting to alleviate redness of the skin post peel with a concealing makeup, this is a very bad idea. The makeup can cause additional irritation to the wounded skin and therefore act to create rather than reduce redness. Advisably those being treated with a chemical peel should refrain from doing anything additional to their skin i.e. applying additional chemicals, makeup etc. Redness will lessen over time and therefore it pays to be patient!


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