Some people do not realize, or may choose not to realize, that a chemical acid peel is a medical procedure. This is true even if you are doing it yourself at home or if it is being done by a professional.For this reason, you should not go into it without asking some questions.
The ones listed below are just a few examples of what you should ask. You may think of others.
If I’m going to do it myself, what should I look for?
Look for chemical peel kits that are from a reputable company. If you are unfamiliar with a manufacturer, you may want to look for another product with a recognizable brand or cosmetic company name. This is especially true if you are ordering online. Remember, just as with anything else, you get what you pay for, and this may not a time to skimp on the cost. Think of it this way, even if the peel kit is rather expensive, it’s still cheaper than if you have it done in a medical office.
I’m going to let my dermatologist do it. What does he need to know about me, and what should I ask him about the treatment?
First, make sure he knows your complete physical history, especially if you have a condition such as diabetes or lupus, or suffer from frequent herpes (both oral and genital) outbreaks. He will need to know this so that he can best judge how strong of a chemical peel your skin can tolerate.
You may think of other questions that you need to ask the dermatologist, especially since you know your body best.
What can I expect from a chemical peel, no matter where it’s done?
You can expect a temporary improvement in your skin’s condition, texture, and appearance. Fine lines and wrinkles will appear lighter, or may even disappear completely if they were very close to the surface. The new skin cells that will be exposed as a result of the treatment will be firmer and have more moisture, giving your complexion an attractive “glow”. Further, scars and dark spots may appear less noticeable, or seem to disappear all together, at least for a little while.
You CANNOT expect acid peels to perform miracles. As with any other medical procedure, they can only do so much. Your appearance will not drastically change, because nothing is being done to alter the original structure of your face itself; only the skin is being treated.
You can expect a great deal of peeling and loss of dead skin cells, both immediately after the treatment and for a few weeks following. This is normal, and you will eventually start looking less like a peeled red grape or boiled lobster and more like yourself-only a little better because of the treatment.
You can expect to have to repeat the treatment, or have the treatment repeated, after some time has elapsed. How soon afterward will depend on the type of treatment used, how strong it was, and how well your skin responded.