Aging, sun exposure, and other environmental factors can leave the skin looking prematurely old and blemished, leaving many to wonder which cosmetic treatments can help. Chemical peels are a nonsurgical option to enhance skin texture, making them a popular treatment for those patients who wish to reduce the appearance of skin damage. Chemical peels use an acidic solution to gently remove the damaged outer layers of the skin, revealing more radiant, smoother skin underneath. Accordingly, following proper aftercare is essential for protecting the skin and ensuring exceptional results while new skin cells generate. During personal consultations, Dr. Dustin Heringer and Dr. William McLeish provide detailed chemical peel aftercare instructions to their Scottsdale, AZ, patients. Today, our doctors would like to share some general chemical peel aftercare tips.
Cleanse the Skin at Least Twice Each Day
The skin should be thoroughly washed at least twice per day while recovering from a chemical peel. While cleaning the skin, it's important to avoid using harsh soaps or exfoliants as these can irritate the newly exposed skin.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized and Hydrated
It is important to keep the skin well moisturized and hydrated after a chemical peel. Drinking plenty of water and running a humidifier can help the skin stay hydrated, as well as applying a sensitive formula moisturizer or natural oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil. Moisturizer should be reapplied as needed so that the skin is never dry or cracking.
Stay Out of the Sun
Newly revealed skin is delicate and more prone to sun damage, which is why it is vital that patients avoid sun exposure until the peeling of old skin cells has stopped. When going outside, patients should take care to protect their skin by wearing sunscreen, a hat, using an umbrella, or keeping any treated areas covered. However, it is also important to note that damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate through most types of fabric. The best way to protect the skin from the sun is to stay indoors.
Wear Sunscreen of SPF 30 or Higher
After a chemical peel, it is essential to wear sunscreen whenever going outside, even for short periods of time or on an overcast day. Look for an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply at least every two hours. Using sunscreen after a chemical peel can help protect new skin cells and prevent future discoloration and sun damage.
Do Not Peel Your Skin
Damaged layers of skin will peel off after undergoing treatment. Although it may be tempting to pull and pick at peeling skin, doing so could lead to scarring or infection. Peeling should stop within a week of treatment and should be left alone to ensure proper healing.
Avoid Heavy Sweating
During the first 24 to 48 hours after a chemical peel, it is recommended that patients avoid building up a heavy sweat through strenuous exercise or other activity. Sweating can clog the pores and irritate the skin immediately after a chemical peel.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more chemical peel aftercare tips or have other questions about skin treatments, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.