From reducing the frequency of acne outbreaks to reversing the signs of aging, chemical peels can be used to treat just about every skin concern. We offer several types of acid peels at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics in Newton Centre, MA. Today, we’re discussing who qualifies for this type of skincare treatment, how to prepare for peels, and how to care for your skin afterward.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Chemical Peels?
Virtually anyone looking to improve the health and appearance of their skin can be considered a good candidate for a chemical peel. That said, you need to attend an initial consultation with Dr. Moran to determine whether you qualify for this treatment and which chemical peel will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. You may qualify for chemical peels if you are experiencing some of the following skin concerns:
One of the most common reasons people seek chemical peels is the treatment of regular acne outbreaks. If your acne is caused by too much sebum production, you may qualify for a medium or superficial (light) chemical peel containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a gentle acid from the BHA family of acids, otherwise known as beta hydroxy acid.
Salicylic acid is great for the treatment of acne outbreaks because it prevents the excess production of sebum, the most common cause of acne outbreaks.
Let us know during your initial consultation if you are concerned about regular acne outbreaks. Dr. Renee Moran can diagnose the cause of your acne outbreaks to determine the most effective treatment method for you.
Another sign you may qualify for a chemical peel is concern about lines and wrinkles. Whether you need a superficial or medium peel depends on the other skin concerns you have and the severity of your wrinkles. Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated effectively with superficial peels. On the other hand, moderate wrinkles and folds need to be treated with a medium peel.
That said, if you have several mild skin concerns and moderate wrinkles, you can erase moderate wrinkles with six to eight superficial peels. Contrastingly, you can treat mild skin concerns with a single medium chemical peel and moderate wrinkles with one or two medium peels.
You may also qualify for this treatment if you have pigmentation concerns. Whether you used to sunbathe without sunscreen, you currently smoke, or you are exposed to irritating chemicals on a regular basis, you may have dull or ruddy skin. Pigmentation concerns can also occur as a natural result of the aging process.
Additionally, chemical peels can be used to treat other pigmentation concerns, such as freckles and sunspots. You will benefit significantly from a medium peel if you get sunburns every summer and have freckles and moderate wrinkles year-round. If you’re also worried about acne breakouts that seem to occur all the time, let Dr. Moran know during your initial consultation. Salicylic acid can easily be included in a medium peel.
You may also qualify for a chemical peel if you have acne scars. Like acne outbreaks, acne scars can be treated with a light or medium peel. You will be a better fit for a light peel if you only have a few shallow acne scars. On the other hand, you will be a better candidate for a medium peel if you have deeper, more extensive acne scars.
Rosacea is another sign you may qualify for a chemical peel. People who suffer from a combination of rosacea and other cosmetic concerns often struggle to find a safe, effective cosmetic treatment for their concerns due to the severe inflammation that occurs during outbreaks. That said, chemical peels can treat severe redness and extreme inflammation. They can be used to ease rosacea flare-up-related pain and improve the skin’s appearance.
Who Doesn’t Qualify for a Chemical Peel?
Although most people qualify for a chemical peel, not everyone is considered a good candidate for this skincare treatment. For example, you may not qualify for a chemical peel if your doctor tells you to continue taking medication that makes your skin sensitive to light. Furthermore, it is important to speak to your OBGYN before considering this treatment if you are nursing or pregnant.
The acids used in light peels are commonly found in over-the-counter skincare products, so you may qualify. On the other hand, your OBGYN may advise you to not receive a peel until you are done breastfeeding.
How to Prepare for a Chemical Peel
To prepare for a chemical peel, it is very important that you take steps to prevent skin irritation at the time of your appointment. We understand it may not be possible to stop an acne outbreak or rosacea flare-up. That said, you should use skincare products to mitigate the risk of an acne outbreak and be sure to keep your skin clean.
Additionally, you should mitigate your risk of a rosacea flare-up by avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, and sunlight. On the note of sunlight, whether you have rosacea or not, you should wear sunscreen diligently in the two weeks leading up to your appointment. Furthermore, you should wear sunscreen diligently until your skin has finished peeling following your session.
How to Care for Your Skin After a Peel
Peels provide many benefits, but the more dramatic the results you need are, the more intense the treatment is. This is great from an efficiency standpoint. If you receive a medium peel to treat moderate wrinkles, you will need far fewer treatment sessions.
However, if you receive a medium-deep peel, you will need to be even more diligent about your skincare after your session. Regardless of the type of peel you qualify for, here’s what you can do to care for your skin after your session is complete:
Keep Your Hair Out of Your Face
It is incredibly important to keep your hair out of your face regardless of the type of chemical peel you receive. You should wear your hair in a bun or high ponytail if your hair is longer than your ears. If you have a strand of hair that won’t stay up, clip it away from your face.
There is almost no chance that oils found in your hair will affect your peeling facial skin. That said, there is oil on your fingertips regardless of how often you wash your hands. Additionally, there are often irritants, such as pollutants, on your fingertips. These irritants can penetrate your freshly peeling skin.
Keep Your Face Clean
Depending on the strength of your chemical peel, you may experience skin peeling for 48 to 120 hours. It is very important to keep your face clean while your skin is peeling. When you’re washing your face, we strongly recommend that you use tepid water.
When you wash your face, opt for a soft washcloth rather than a loofah or old, rough washcloth. Furthermore, until your skin is done peeling, use a gentle facial cleanser rather than a scented body wash.
Don’t Over-Moisturize Your Face
Moisturizing is great for the health and beauty of your skin. That said, you should not apply moisturizer to your face too regularly. Unless you have naturally dry skin, you only need to moisturize your skin once per day. This may be done in the morning or at night depending on your personal preference.
If you have dry skin, do not moisturize more than twice daily. Even though excessive moisturization won’t hurt your skin, it will significantly extend the amount of time it takes your skin to finish peeling. Besides not over-moisturizing your skin, it’s important that you use a gentle, scent-free moisturizer. We recommend Cetaphil as it is designed for individuals with sensitive skin, but Aquaphor and Vaseline are also very gentle, effective moisturizers.
As noted above, you should apply sunscreen diligently until your skin has finished peeling. As your skin peels, it reveals a fresher, younger layer of skin cells. These skin cells are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures and UV rays.
Determine Today Which Peel Is Right for You
You may be a good candidate for chemical peels if you are concerned about acne outbreaks, acne scars, lines, wrinkles, and other skin concerns. To find out which peel is best for you, contact us today at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics in Newton Centre, MA to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to helping you discover the most effective peel for your unique cosmetic goals.