Chemical Peel Treatment Stages

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Any cosmetic treatment can be ultimately daunting if you do not know what to expect.  Being treated with a chemical peel should not be a frightening process, rather the opposite, it should be exciting to see your skin looking rejuvenated. Prepared by the knowledge of what to expect when you are treated with a chemical peel, any misconceptions you hold can be relayed and any fears that you may poses can be alleviated.

Within your consultation granted by the practitioner you will be alerted as to the procedure of a chemical peel, which in total will last for only 15 to 30 minutes. Usually a chemical peel will be carried out in sections rather than a certain area of skin being completely coated with an acidic chemical solution.  The below stages are entirely relevant for all the available types of  peel, unless explicitly outlined as to the contrary:

  • Skin Preparation - Prior to being treated with a chemical peel, you may be prescribed with a variant of face cream, such as Vitamin A or Alpha Hydroyx acid. The purpose of this is to ensure that your skin will react well to the chemical peel.
  • Facial Cleanse - Before the application of the chemical solution to the specified area of your skin, the area will need to be prepared.  The area of skin will be thoroughly cleansed to remove any debris such as dirt or makeup    which may still be covering your skin.  This process will also rid the skin of excess grease. 
  • Vaseline may be applied to prevent the chemical peel solution from entering into your eyes.
  • Application of the Acid - Your skin is now thoroughly cleansed and ready to be chemically peeled. The acidic chemical will now be coated across the given area of skin.
  • Re-application of acid - Dependant on how deep or strong you desire the chemical peel to go/be you may require another layer applied across the top of the acid. This is most common with deeper concentrations.
  • The acid reaches the desired depth - period of waiting prior to this.
  • Neutralising solution is added - This acts to prevent the chemical from dissolving any further layers of skin. Sodium bicarbonate is generally used to achieve this function.
  • Completion of the chemical peel - sunscreen and a soothing balm are applied to the area of skin.

If you have an unexpected reaction when the acid is applied to your face then the practitioner will immediately apply the neutralising solution. After the chemical peel your skin will initially look as though you have suffered from sunburn, being of a reddish hue and potentially swollen.

When the solution remains on your skin you may experience a certain amount of pain. Whilst some individuals who are treated with a chemical peel do not feel any pain at all, for others the stinging sensation is far too great. This sensation of pain is only temporary and will only last for around 2 to 3 minutes. However, the practitioner may render it necessary for a cold compress to be applied to the area of skin or alternatively may provide a fan. Both methods function to reduce the amount of pain.

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