Are Chemical Peels Safe?

May 02, 2024
Are Chemical Peels Safe?
Chemical peels provide a way to remove the outer layers of skin to reveal the beautiful skin lying underneath. But are they safe? We answer that question and more here.

Have you been looking for a way to rejuvenate your aging skin? Maybe you’re searching for a solution to facial scarring or hyperpigmentation. If so, chemical peels might be right for you.

Chemical peels can remove some of the outer layer of your skin through the application of a chemical exfoliant. Once the damaged or aging tissue has been removed, the newer and more vibrant skin underneath is revealed, giving you a fresh and youthful appearance.

Since this cosmetic treatment uses harsh chemicals to remove layers of skin, it’s natural to wonder about its safety. So, our team at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street in Washington, DC, wants to ease your worries and discuss how chemical peels can safely rejuvenate your skin.

Understanding chemical peels

A chemical peel works by applying a chemical solution to the top layer of your skin. This removes old skin, which blisters and then peels off, revealing new skin underneath. 

By removing that top layer of skin, you can address several cosmetic skin issues including:

  • Certain types of acne 
  • Fine lines around your mouth and eyes
  • Wrinkles caused by sun damage
  • Mild scarring
  • Hyperpigmentation, age spots, or freckles
  • Patches of scaly skin

In addition, if you feel like your skin is textured or dull, chemical peels can give you a much smoother and more radiant complexion.

Ensuring chemical peel safety

Because chemical peels contain such harsh ingredients, you should choose a provider who’s licensed and experienced in administering them, such as the team at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street. 

We examine your skin type closely and discuss the results you want to ensure we use the right type and intensity of treatment and place it precisely where it needs to go. This helps minimize the risk of adverse side effects such as scarring or long-term redness. 

What to expect when you get a chemical peel

There are three types of peels that we offer at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street, and you can expect something different from each one:

Light or superficial peels

This is a very gentle type of peel that removes skin from just the outermost layer. You can expect minimal peeling and it should only take about a week to heal. Until your skin is fully healed, you need to avoid direct sun exposure and wear plenty of sunscreen. 

Because it is so gentle, you may need repeat sessions to achieve your desired results.

Medium peels

Medium peels remove the outer layer of skin and part of the middle layer as well. It’s appropriate for most scarring, wrinkles, and other skin concerns. This type can cause redness and swelling 48 hours after the procedure and can have a lot more peeling than the light peel would. 

It may take up to two weeks for your skin to heal from this kind of peel, but you get much more dramatic results. While you recover, you should apply the healing solution we provide and wear ample sunscreen.

Deep peels

This kind of peel completely penetrates the middle layer of your skin and is only recommended if you have severe wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or sun damage. Deep peels cause a lot of trauma to your skin, so you can only get this type done once every few years.

Due to its intense nature, you need to follow recovery instructions very closely for the three weeks it takes to heal. You have to take antiviral medication, wash your face with a special solution, apply ointments and moisturizers, and also avoid the sun for up to six months.

If you’d like to learn if a chemical peel might be a viable option for you, contact our team by calling our office at 202-955-6995 or schedule an appointment online today.