Chemical Peels

What to Expect

  • Microscopic (not always visible) peeling is a normal reaction to chemical peels. Some patients experience more significant peeling for several days.
  • Mild redness or irritation is possible and usually resolves in a few days, depending on the type of peel.

FOR TCA PEELS ONLY: Dramatic redness (or a purplish burned look) and peeling are possible for 1-2 weeks.

FOR VITALIZE PEELS ONLY: A yellow tinge may persist on the treated areas of skin until the peel is washed off.

Care of Treated Areas

  • Wash with a gentle cleanser daily, such as Cetaphil, however:

FOR VITALIZE PEEL: Wait 4-6 hours before washing skin

FOR MANDELIC OR MELANOSTOP PEELS: Wait 12 hours before washing skin

  • Apply moisturizing cream, such as Cetaphil or Cerave cream, or even Vaseline, 4-5 times daily.
  • Apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 each morning, and reapply every two hours when outdoors.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily.

Activities to Avoid

  • Avoid sun exposure while healing. Wear a hat and use SPF 30 sunscreen. Very consistent sunscreen use following chemical peels will help maintain the benefit of the peel.
  • Avoid drying or irritating agents, such as benzoyl peroxide or Retin-A, while healing.
  • Do not peel, pull, pick, or scratch the treated skin. This can lead to permanent scaring.
  • Hold cardio exercise for 24 hours, to prevent further skin irritation due to heat and exertion.

Next Steps

  • You may resume any topical retinoids (Retin-A, Tazorac, etc.) or topical acne medications in 5-7 days after peel, if skin is well healed.

Repeat chemical peel in 3-4 weeks for optimal results, as directed by physician.