Do Chemical Peels Hurt?

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a combination of acids applied to resurface the skin by causing a controlled chemical burn to remove aging and damaged layers and stimulating cell turnover and recovery. These can be very light peels to improve skin tone that have minimal downtime or significant peels to address fine lines and scarring that require one to two weeks of recovery.

Chemical peels have become a routine way to improve the appearance of the skin by removing the outermost layers. However, it is important to note that the healing process can vary depending on the area of the body. Peels to the face typically heal faster than those done on the neck and chest.

Do chemical peels hurt?

Chemical peels may cause stinging and mild discomfort during the application process. The more superficial peels require no topical numbing while the more aggressive peels may require topical numbing or medications to prevent discomfort. For deeper chemical peels, a neutralizing agent is applied which stops the stinging once the desired depth is reached.

The healing process may involve minor discomfort and some itching as the areas heal and new skin forms.

What are the benefits of chemical peels?

Chemical peels are a great way to achieve smoother, clearer, and more youthful-looking skin. However, it’s important to note that not all chemical peels are created equal. There are different types of chemical peels that are designed to target different skin concerns and varying levels of intensity.

  • Superficial peels: These are the mildest type of chemical peel and they help to exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, removing dead skin cells and improving skin texture.
  • Medium peels: These peels can penetrate deeper into the skin than superficial peels. They are effective in treating fine lines, wrinkles, and mild to moderate sun damage.
  • Deep peels: These are the strongest type of chemical peel and they can penetrate deep into the skin and are effective in treating deep wrinkles, severe sun damage, and acne scars. However, they also come with a longer recovery time and higher risk of complications.
It’s important to consult with a medical professional to determine which type of chemical peel is right for you based on your skin type and concerns. Additionally, it’s important to take proper care of your skin before and after a chemical peel to ensure optimal results and minimize the risk of complications.


What should I expect after the treatment?

Chemical peels to the face heal faster than to the neck and chest.

Stages of a peel

  • Redness and tingling
  • dryness, irritation, and swelling
  • darker patches are scattered over the peeled area
  • flaking and peeling begins
  • breakouts may occur
  • itching as healthy new skin
  • redness and irregular skin tone
  • new healthier skin is finally here

How can I optimize my recovery?

When your skin is peeling, it is important to keep it moisturized to minimize dryness and irritation. Avoid picking or scratching at the skin, as this can cause further damage and delay the healing process. Additionally, using sunscreen can help prevent further damage and darkening of the skin. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the affected area moisturized
  • Drink plenty of water to help your skin stay hydrated
  • Completely avoid exposure to the sun during peak hours (10am-2pm)
  • When in the sun, reapply sunscreen every two hours and choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and discomfort

As the healing process nears completion, you may notice some redness and irregular skin tone. But this should improve over time as the new, healthier skin continues to develop. In the end, it’s important to be patient and take care of your skin during the healing process to ensure the best possible results.

Ultimately, the discomfort and inconvenience of the peeling process will be worth it when your new, healthy skin is revealed. Just remember to be patient and take good care of your skin along the way.

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Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

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