Chemical Peels – Pre and Post Care Instructions

Chemical Peels – Pre Treatment Instructions

  • Wait at least one-year post Accutane/isotretinoin use before your peel.
  • One week before peel, patient should avoid: Electrolysis, Depilatory Creams, Waxing, Laser Hair Removal
  • 3 days before peel, patient should avoid these products and/or procedures: Retin-A®, Renova®, Differin®, Tazorac®; any products containing retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids, or benzoyl peroxide; any exfoliating products or procedures that may be drying or irritating.
  • If you are prone to herpes simplex outbreaks, such as cold sores, consult your provider on ways to treat prior, or discuss whether the procedure is appropriate for you.
  • If your face or treatment area has irritated skin (sunburn, open wounds, warts, sores, excessively sensitive skin) the day preceding your appointment, please contact our office before your appointment.
  • Chemical peels are contraindicated in patients with a history of recent chemotherapy or radiation therapy; allergies to salicylates like aspirin or phenol; rashes, or skin reactions; vitiligo, autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or any condition that may weaken their immune system; and pregnancy or breast feeding.

Chemical Peels – What to Expect During Treatment

  • Your provider may give you a hand-held fan for comfort.
  • You may experience burning, stinging, redness, heat, or tightness as the peel is administered.

Chemical Peels – Post Treatment Instructions

  • Skin may be tight and more red than usual.
  • Skin may feel tacky and have a yellow to orange tinge to it. This is temporary and will fade in a few hours.
  • Patient should wait until bedtime before washing the face with a gentle cleanser. Use only tepid or cool water to gently cleanse the face. Avoid use of wash clothes, exfoliating devices, scrubbers, or sponges throughout the peel.
  • Avoid use of topical products containing AHAs, Retinols, Vitamin A, or any type of exfoliant until the peeling process is complete.
  • Strictly avoid direct sun exposure for at least one week. Apply Essential Defense Mineral Shield in the AM and throughout the day.
  • Avoid hot water, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, strenuous exercise, or excessive perspiration beginning the day of the peel and throughout the entire peel.
  • 24 hours after the peel, and until peeling is complete:
    • Skin may be tight until it starts to peel.
    • Peeling will generally begin 48 – 72 hours after the peel has been administered, and last for 2 – 5 days after the skin has started peeling.
    • DO NOT PICK OR PULL THE SKIN. Allow the skin to peel at its own pace. (Premature peeling of the skin may develop into post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)
  • Some patients may experience extreme dryness after treatment. Continue use of post care products provided and/or recommended by your provider.
  • Patients should wait until the peeling process has completed before having any other facial procedures, including: facials, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, hair removal, and cosmetic injections.
  • Variations in amount of peeling: The degree of peeling may vary depending on the individual’s skin type and skin condition at the time of the peel. The success of the peel should not be determined by the amount of peeling, but by the end results that the peel will produce. Reasons why some patients experience decreased visible peeling:
    • Receiving any peel, or this specific peel, for the first time.
    • Severe sun damage (increased visible peeling should develop with subsequent peels).
    • Having peels regularly with a short interval between peels.
    • Frequent users of Retin-A®, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or other peeling agents prior to the peel treatment.

Regardless of the degree of peeling, the skin is still sloughing off at an accelerated rate, which will result in the improvement of skin.



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