What Does a Chemical Peel Feel Like?

What Does a Chemical Peel Feel Like?

Masks, peels, exfoliants, moisturizers, serums — the variety of skin care products can seem overwhelming, but knowing the value of each one can help you balance your routine. 

A chemical peel resurfaces your skin, sloughing off old skin cells to let new, healthy skin shine. While strong peels should be spaced apart to allow your skin to heal, a customized plan can help you gently refresh your complexion on a regular basis.

At New Image Medical Spa in Fremont, California, Dr. Surinder Sandhu delivers customized chemical peel treatments designed for maximum positive effect and your physical comfort. Have you been thinking about getting a peel? Here’s what you should know.

How chemical peels work

Your skin is constantly growing and shedding, regenerating itself in layers. This process involves the production of collagen and elastin, which keep the skin firm and flexible. Naturally, areas that receive more stimulation produce skin faster, such as the face and hands. 

Chemical peels target the uppermost layers of the skin, which receive the most sun damage and the least circulation. The chemical solution applied to the skin causes trauma to the skin layers, similar to a hard sunburn. 

This causes the body to reject the upper layers of skin. In the days following your peel, the affected skin peels off, revealing newer, softer skin underneath. 

Conditions a chemical peel can treat

Peels can address a number of skin issues, including: 

Different types of peels provide different experiences and results. The deeper the peel, the longer the downtime but the more dramatic your results are likely to be because more layers of old skin are removed. 

What a chemical peel feels like 

Most people say getting a light or deep chemical peel starts with a burning sensation that lasts 5-10 minutes. When the burning feeling subsides, you may feel a stinging sensation. This slowly fades, and your skin might feel tight for a few days. 

The burning and stinging sensations intensify with the degree of the peel, and they can also vary based on your skin condition and skin tone. Make sure you tell Dr. Sandhu about any allergies or sensitivities that could be a problem due to chemical peel ingredients.

For a deeper peel, you might feel enough discomfort to need over-the-counter pain relievers. For milder peels, cool compresses could do the trick. Dr. Sandhu gives you specific after-care instructions tailored to your post-peel needs.

If you want to avoid side effects, a series of shallow peels can help you reach your goals without significant skin loss or post-peel discomfort. More aggressive peels can leave you red and peeling for up to 10 days, so plan ahead for any deep peels you want to have. 

Do not pick at your skin to peel it away faster, and don’t go outside without sun protection. Your skin will be tender and sensitive during this time, so only use gentle unscented products until your face is fully healed.

Choosing your chemical peel

During your consultation with Dr. Sandhu, she goes over what skin conditions you’d like to address and how you’d like to approach the peeling process.

Most skin conditions can be treated with light peels, though you might opt for a stronger solution if you’re trying to target problems that go deeper than the first few layers of skin. Certain scars, such as icepick and boxcar scars, might require additional treatment.

TCA CROSS treatments can be combined with chemical peels, so be sure to mention it if you’re struggling with acne scarring. The chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS) technique uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to encourage collagen production, healing deep-tissue scars from the bottom up. 

To learn more about chemical peels and TCA CROSS treatments, schedule a consultation at New Image Medical Spa by calling 510-269-2324, or you can request an appointment online.

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