How Chemical Peels Work
In each peel, a chemical agent is used to remove the top layer of skin and give a jumpstart to your skins natural collagen remodeling process. Prior to the application of the chemical agent, the skin is cleansed and a scrub is applied to remove the outermost layer of the dermis . Once the chemical solution is applied, its left on the skin for about 1-10 minutes. During a peel, the skin is destroyed in a controlled and safe way so that newer, healthier skin can grow back to replace it.
Mind Your P’s And F’s
Aka your prep and frequency.
“All skin types should use high-quality skincare products at home specifically chosen for their skin type. This will ensure their skin is in good shape prior to their treatment. For best results, a licensed professional should suggest an at-home regimen to help prep for a chemical peel. Also, stay away from retinoids for a week prior to the peel. Immediately following the treatment, I recommend PCA Skin’s Post-Procedure Solution as the best bet for my clients. This will allow the skin to stay calm and hydrated after any in-office procedure,” she says. Plus, always, always wear sunscreen . Which begs the question: How often should sensitive skin type splurge for in-office treatments? According to Spannand if your funds allowevery 30 days is optimal. “This is the perfect amount of time to get treatments for sensitive skin with superficial treatments,” she explains.
And so, keeping these five commandments in mind, chemical peels for sensitive skin are definitely fair game. And coming from a previous skeptic, I’ve only become more and more obsessed with the results in the weeks following the procedure. As I said, I experienced minimal flaking and my skin has looked brighter, healthier, and much more even. Now I’m just counting down the days until I can get anotherconsider me addicted.
At Home Chemical Peel Reviews
Chemical Peel at Home: Before and After
Chemical peels are treatments that usually show results after first use. For this reason, using before and after testimonials and images from existing patients can be a great way to assess the possibilities of such usage.
For the most part, patient reviews across the Internet have mixed emotions when it comes to their personal experiences. Many praise these treatments, saying that they only wish they had started sooner! Others are less convinced, having seemingly struggled with the self-application aspect or general feelings of overwhelm in handling such an acidic procedure without supervision.
Chemical Peel for Wrinkles: Before and After
Because wrinkles are the most common condition targeted with chemical peels, there is a myriad of reviews and before and after imagery available on the Internet attesting to thousands of personal experiences!
Overall, almost all of the claims seem to be utterly positive, albeit a few who perhaps had higher hopes for some deeper, persistent lines. Those that didnt see any improvement in their wrinkle appearance do still remark on a general improvement in their overall skin texture and condition.
Here are some before and after images from individuals who used chemical peels for wrinkles:
Chemical Peel for Acne Scars: Before and After
Using chemical peels for acne scarring is about as popular as wrinkle treatment is, with an ever growing interest due to the endemic that is acne .
The Brachel Is The Dreamy Rachel
She’s completely transformed her dry and inflamed skin to a much clearer and soothed complexion – you go girl!
These products could be the new holy grails for those suffering with eczema, considering they boast some pretty powerful and effective ingredients.
CeraVe contains 3 ceramides and hyaluronic acid that work retain moisture in the skin.
The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid works to exfoliate the surface of the skin to brighten and improve texture.
Other ingredients include Tasmanian Pepperberry and Aloe Vera which help to reduce inflammation and irritation in the skin.
Treatment Of Bacterial Infections
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Know That Chemical Peels Aren’t One
Perhaps obvious, perhaps not, but if I’ve learned anything over the past month while investigating chemical peels for sensitive skin, it’s that customization is paramount where success is concerned. “One misconception is that one peel fits all skin types, and this is simply not true,” Spann confirms. Her skin-strategic acid combinations are as follows:
For those with acne: Opt for a blend of lactic and salicylic acids.
For those with mature skin: Opt for a blend of TCA and lactic acids.
For those with hyperpigmentation: It depends on the cause of hyperpigmentation, but TCA and lactic acids are generally the best options. Kojic acid is another ingredient to keep top of mind.
“The best bet is to find a certified professional in your areathey can determine the most effective treatment for you upon skin analysis,” says Spann “PCA Professional Treatments aren’t timed or neutralized, so the clinician is in complete control at all times.” And if you’re nervous or want to walk into an appointment or consult with a safe recommendation in tow, Spann suggests PCA Skin’s Sensi Peelan option perfect for all skin types, even those with rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions.
What To Look For
1. Shea butter, glycerin, and lanolin. These moisturizing ingredients repair your skin and help it look healthier. Look for skin care products that list one of these first, second, or third on the ingredients list.
2. Hyaluronic acid. It helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. Smooth on cream with hyaluronic acid for an extra boost of moisture and to ease flaky, dry skin.
3. Niacinamide. If red patches show through no matter how many layers of makeup you pile on, try a serum or cream that has this compound, also called vitamin B3. It can reduce redness from eczema by strengthening your skinâs natural barrier. Apply niacinamide cream first, then put on cosmetics.
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What Are Home Remedies For Peeling Skin
You should let peeling skin slough off naturally. The peeling is part of your skins natural healing process. Picking at or pulling off peeling skin can create an opening that lets in bacteria. This increases your risk of infection.
If you have peeling skin, these actions may help:
- Apply fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing cream or ointment . Or apply aloe vera to soothe a sunburn.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin well hydrated.
- Seek help to quit smoking .
- Shower in warm water .
- Use a humidifier to put moisture into the air.
Which Outdoor Chemicals Trigger Eczema
We think of air pollution as a danger to the lungs, but chemicals in the air can also affect eczema. Pollutants include:
- Carbon monoxide
Particulate matter is a mix of toxic substances like:
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Smoke from tobacco and other materials
- Metals and more chemicals
When those pollutants mix with other elements in the atmosphere, they create a second group of pollutants:
- Ground level ozone
One study found that doctor visits for eczema went up when ozone levels were high for 1 week.
Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury in air pollution often come from paint, cigarette smoke, and vehicle exhaust. The chemicals released in tobacco smoke are risk factors for eczema and can worsen it. So can other types of smoke, like that from wildfires. Research shows that the chemicals in wildfire smoke can trigger eczema flares.
What to do: Try to limit time spent outside on days when smog or ozone levels are high. You can usually find this information on weather apps. You can also search online. When exercising outdoors, try to steer clear of car exhaust.
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How To Treat Eczema On Your Face
Eczemaalso called atopic dermatitisis a skin condition characterized by red, flaky, itchy skin. Its not something you can catch, and anything from the weather to allergies can flare it up. But most often, it flares up without any unknown cause. Bottom line, its no fun, especially when your face starts to peel from irritation. Following a specific skin care regimen is key, along with taking steps to control the peeling. Avoid the temptation to tug at all costs.
What Is Peeling Skin
Peeling skin happens when your body sheds some of your skins outer layer called the epidermis. The peeling or flaking process is your skins way of recovering or healing from some type of damage. The damage may be from environmental elements, skin conditions, allergies, infections or certain diseases and treatments. The medical term for peeling skin is desquamation.
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What Is The Long
The outlook for exfoliative dermatitis can vary, depending on whats causing the reaction. A medication allergy, for instance, might prove easier to treat than an unknown cause. Once you stop the medication and get treatment for your symptoms, your skin will generally clear up within a few weeks.
Managing conditions, such as cancer and psoriasis, can also help speed healing.
If your care team cant find an underlying cause, you could have flare-ups from time to time. That said, healthcare professionals can do a lot to manage your symptoms, even when they dont know what causes them.
At the end of the day, exfoliative dermatitis is fairly rare. If you do have symptoms of this condition, its best to get the right diagnosis from a healthcare professional so that they can help you identify potential triggers.
Last medically reviewed on January 19, 2022
Taking Care Of Your Skin After A Peel
To stay comfortable after a peel and improve healing, you should:
- Apply ice packsor use a fan to relieve the burning. Just be careful to not let the skin dry out in front of the fan.
- Moisturize frequently. Apply moisturizer any time your skin feels tight, dry, or itchy. You may need to apply moisturizer 1020 times a day in the days following a peel.
- Follow all aftercare instructions your doctor gives you. Your doctor will ask you to follow a skin care regimen including gentle cleansing and antibiotic ointment if necessary.
- Do not pick, peel, or rub your skin. The peeling outer layer acts like a bandage and protects the new skin underneath. Removing this layer too soon can lead to burning, pain, and potential scarring. Hot water in the shower and sweating can also cause your skin to come off too soon.
- Take any medications your doctor prescribes. You may be instructed to take over-the-counter pain-relievers and/or antibiotics.
- Prevent sun exposure. The skin is especially sensitive to the sun after a peel. Completely avoid the sun until your skin is fully healed, and be careful to use proper sun-protective clothing and sunscreen in the months following to prevent dark spots from developing and protect against damaging sun burns.
If you are bothered by the redness and peeling of your skin, you can wear makeup to cover it once your skin is no longer irritated.
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Why You Must Moisturize When Treating Eczema
Speaking of prioritizing products that hydrate and soothe, an eczema-friendly moisturizer can play a vital role in your skin-care routine, not only by helping relieve some of the itch of dry skin but also by helping your skin heal, according to the AAD. The organization also notes that it may even decrease your need for eczema medication and prevent eczema flare-ups from becoming difficult to treat.
An emollient-rich moisturizer can sometimes be effective alone, but when used in conjunction with a corticosteroid cream, the moisturizer makes the cream even more effective and may reduce the amount of time you need to use the steroid. Harvard Health Publishing notes that you should just avoid putting the steroid cream on at the same time as you apply your moisturizer. As for the order of which to apply, its up for debate, says Zeichner. I personally have people moisturize first to prime and hydrate the skin moisturizers are applied liberally, while steroids more sparingly. So applying the moisturizer over the steroids may also inadvertently spread it to places beyond where it was not originally intended to go, Zeichner adds.
What To Expect After A Peel
After the peel, your skin may continue to burn or sting for 20 minutes or more. Your skin will be red, swollen, and tight for the first 24 hours or so. After that, the swelling will go down and your skin will begin peeling.
Your skin may darken or even develop brown patches during this time, but the spots rarely stay after the skin has healed. Once the skin begins peeling off, new smooth skin will be revealed.
It can take five to seven days after a medium peel to develop new skin, and the redness can last for months in some cases. Generally, it will take 714 days to heal completely and see the full results of the peel.
However, the results arent permanent. Your skin will continue to age with time and sun exposure acne can create new scars and you may develop new spots of hyperpigmentation.
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You Might Not Actually Have Sensitive Skin
When I began asking Spann what characterizes sensitive skin and the process behind choosing and administering chemical peels for this skin type, she made one thing perfectly clear: Not everyone who thinks they have sensitive skin has what would clinically be considered sensitive skin . And since I have none of the above , Iâm probably guilty as charged.
âFirst we have to do a thorough skin analysis,â Spann clarifies. âMany people think their skin is sensitive but they actually have been overusing product and making their skin sensitized. Most skin types arenât naturally sensitiverepairing the barrier is key. The Sensi Peel, as I mentioned earlier, is a great option for rosacea and any type of sensitive skin because it will actually reduce inflammation. At home, we want sensitive skin and acne patients to directly address the concerns at hand.â
When Should I Call The Doctor
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Having skin that peels can make you self-conscious about your appearance. There are many causes of peeling skin, which is why its important to see your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your symptoms and perform tests to determine the underlying cause. This ensures you start the right treatment to stop your skin from peeling. Dont pick at skin thats peeling, as it interferes with your skins healing process and puts you at risk for infection. Your healthcare provider can recommend gentle skin products that ease and prevent peeling skin.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/15/2022.
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Talk To Us About Your Cosmetic Surgery Recovery
If youve gone through a cosmetic procedure like a chemical peel and you have questions, feel free to contact our skin care specialists. They can help recommend products that may speed up your healing as well as techniques to tame inflammation and swelling.
How do you speed recovery after a chemical peel?
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What Are Jessner Peels
These peels were created by dermatologist, Dr. Max Jessner and are one of the most effective and popular cosmetic peels available.
They are a combination of three chemicals that work together to give optimal results. The formula mixes 14% each of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and Resorcinol in an ethanol base, and these three active ingredients create a balance that is very powerful yet safe for your skin.
Many people have noticed that Jessner skin peels are more effective than glycolic peels or salicylic acid peels alone because they can address multiple conditions at the same time.
Salicylic Acid: This is a beta hydroxy acid and is oil-soluble, making it ideal for acne prone or oily skin types. Salicylic acid works to dissolve dirt and sebum that clog pores and cause blemishes, blackheads, or whiteheads. It is also very effective at reducing or balancing oil production so skin will be less likely to suffer breakouts.
Lactic Acid: Like glycolic acid, lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid which is an excellent exfoliator and very effective at lightening hyperpigmentation or dark spots. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production, and will soften the epidermis to allow for better penetration.
Resorcinol: This chemical helps lift away the top layer of skin to reveal the smoother layer underneath and also acts as a sterilizing agent due to it antiseptic properties.
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Chemicals At Work That Trigger Eczema
Eczema can be especially hard to manage if you have a job that requires wet work. Wet work is when your hands are constantly in contact with irritants or allergens. Examples include contractors, dishwashers, and hair stylists.
Chemicals you often come into contact with in these types of jobs include:
- Hair dyes and chemical solutions
- Paints, dyes, varnishes, and stains
Exposure to heavy metals, like copper, is another on-the-job hazard when you have severe eczema. Copper compounds affect people differently. Cadmium and lead are toxic and build up in the body over time. This can lead to changes in your immune system, triggering eczema and asthma. Exposure to cadmium during pregnancy is a risk factor for eczema in the baby.
What to do: Ask your doctor about the best barrier methods to protect your hands and lungs. If youâre constantly exposed to irritating chemicals or allergens, ask your employer for a chemical Safety Data Sheet. Along with testing, this information can help you and your doctor figure out which chemicals are at the top of the list to avoid.