How to Prepare the Skin for a Chemical Peel

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A chemical peel is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that rejuvenates the skin. It’s an effective method to fade blemishes and achieve a fair, flawless complexion. Chemical peels can also banish fine lines, minor spots and hyperpigmentation.

Although chemical peel is not a major procedure, it pays to prep the skin before going through with it. Chemical peels vary according to skin issues. But there are basic steps in prepping the skin to ensure a safe, lasting result!

Consult Your Doctor

Did you know that some medications could render chemical peels useless? If you’re taking prescription drugs, pay your doctor a visit to check if these meds can interfere with chemical peels. If say, the medication can disrupt the effectiveness of a chemical peel, you’d be asked to stop taking the meds for several days. After several days, you can go back to taking your meds.

Pre-Treatment Drugs

Some patients are given pre-treatment drugs for chemical peels. Depending on the depth of the peel, you could be given antibiotics or anti-viral drugs. These medications are meant as a safety precaution from infection and inflammation. They also promote faster healing. If you require an antibiotic or anti-viral meds, the practitioner will ask you to take the meds immediately before moving forward with the procedure.

Pre-Treatment Creams

The skin should be as clean as possible so the chemicals can penetrate the dermis much deeper. You will be advised to apply a topical solution to thin out the skin. Depending on the depth of the peel, you will apply the topical cream for up to six weeks. Some of the most common post-treatment creams are retinol, glycolic acid and bleaching agents.

Cleansing and Prepping

On the day of the treatment, wash your face with a cleanser that removes all residual dirt and oil on the surface of the skin. You can ask your doctor for recommendations on facial cleansers. Once you’re done cleansing, do not apply any face creams or makeup. Once you arrive at the clinic for the peel, your doctor will cleanse the skin a second time.

Know Your Options

There are various non-invasive procedures that work the same as chemical peels. Unless you are sure that you require a chemical peel, talk to your dermatologist to determine what your options are. For example, microdermabrasion is a lighter type of chemical peel that’s meant to boost chemical peels with deeper depth. Microdermabrasion is best as pre-chemical peel conditioner for extremely problematic skin. After microdermabrasion, wait a few weeks for the actual chemical peel.

Protecting the Skin Post-Chemical Peel

After treatment, the skin will become sensitive, inflamed and sometimes painful. This makes the skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. So make a habit of applying sunblock before heading out after treatment. We recommend a sunblock with SPF of 30 and above. Also, wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses to protect the skin from the sun’s damaging rays. This will present residual pigmentation as the skin heals from the chemical peel. You may also apply a prescription cream to soothe inflammation.


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