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A chemical peel uses a chemical solution to remove the outer layers of skin and to improve skin’s overall texture and tone. A chemical peel can improve acne, fine lines, wrinkles, irregular skin texture and pigment, pore size, and sun damage.
Because there are a variety of solutions that can be used, people of many different skin types can safely receive chemical peels. Patients who are pregnant, have used Accutane in the last year, have a history of abnormal or hyperpigmented skin scarring, or have a very dark natural skin tone may not be good candidates for peels. Patients with a history of oral herpes or shingles of the face may have to take certain precautions after a chemical peel.
The patient’s skin will be cleaned and de-greased with isopropyl alcohol. Occasionally, a topical anesthetic is applied to the patient’s skin and removed after 15 minutes. The skin may be cleansed again. The chemical peel solution is then applied with layers of gauze until the desired result is achieved. Vaseline or aquaphor is applied to the treated skin.
Initially the patient may notice a white frost or coloration to their skin, which may then turn pink or red. The treated skin should be kept moisturized and protected from the sun. The skin will flake or peel three to seven days after the treatment. Patients should avoid applying exfoliants and anti-aging products until the skin has finished peeling entirely.
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