Cosmetic Surgery Tips

I picked my skin after chemical peel

Picking at the skin after a chemical peel can cause damage to the newly revealed skin cells and delay the healing process.

In this post, we review the aspects of picking skin after chemical peel, what happens if you peel your skin after a chemical peel, how to hide peeling skin from chemical peel, and how to stop itching after chemical peel.

I picked my skin after chemical peel

Thanks to that one notorious plot line in Sex and the City, chemical peels have gotten a pretty negative reputation — but the truth is that these professional exfoliating treatments can be a remarkable weapon in your arsenal against skin damage and other signs of skin aging. “Chemical peels can be a really effective means of resurfacing the skin,” explains Dr. Michael Suzman, board-certified plastic surgeon and co-founder of RescueMD.

There are different depths of peels, but they all work via the same mechanism: an acid with exfoliating powers (such as glycolic acid) works to dissolve the bonds responsible for binding dead skin cells to the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin. Once those cells have been swept away, fresh new skin is revealed and the process of cellular turnover has been stimulated, resulting in the production of new collagen. “[This] can reduce sun damage, reduce pigmentation, and reduce wrinkles,” says Dr. Suzman.

However, as effective as a chemical peel can be, the treatment is still damaging the skin — with the hopes that it will heal more accurately and more beautifully. “Every time we intentionally injure the skin for beauty treatments, we want it to recover with the least amount of inflammation and the most support for healing,” explains Dr. Suzman. The unfortunate truth is that many seemingly harmless, everyday behaviors could negatively affect your healing — and your chemical peel results. Here, we break down the best ways to care for your skin after a chemical peel, including behaviors to avoid, products to try, and more.

What Should I Avoid After A Chemical Peel?

After a chemical peel, “your skin will be a little red or irritated,” warns Dr. Suzman. “It will typically take up to two days to reduce in redness, and your skin may take a full week to peel and recover.” That’s right: In some cases, your skin may literally start to peel off, shedding a robust layer of dead, damaged skin cells to pave the way for healthy new growth.

During this time, your skin may be quite sensitive, depending on the depth of the peel you’ve booked. It is important to stay out of the sun while your skin is shedding (more on this later) after your chemical peel. If you don’t witness any peeling, that’s OK, and it’s not a sign that your peel didn’t work — and furthermore, it is not an indication that you don’t need to protect your skin from the sun. While you should always ask your provider for their recommendations, we find that it’s best to avoid sun exposure for up to two weeks after receiving a chemical peel to best protect the skin.

In general, after receiving a chemical peel, you want to avoid activities that could cause you to overheat, as they could cause inflammation and hinder skin healing. Intense heat could even cause the development of uncomfortable blisters deep under the skin (ouch!). Many providers recommend avoiding strenuous activity and heavy sweating for the first three days — so if you typically swear by intense HIIT fitness classes, you might want to temporarily switch to restorative yoga. Otherwise, you can live your life as you usually do.

Should I Apply SPF After A Chemical Peel?

Absolutely, as long as your chemical peel practitioner says it’s OK to do so. We strongly recommend applying a sunscreen formula with SPF 30 or higher every single day. Remember, sun exposure is the leading source of skin damage, and scrupulous sunscreen use can go a long way towards protecting your complexion. Apply a nickel-sized amount to your face and neck every morning — and don’t forget to reapply every two hours, especially if you’ve gone swimming or got sweaty (after the first three days of chemical peel recovery, of course!).

What Is The Best Moisturizer To Use After A Chemical Peel?

To properly nourish your delicate skin as it heals, you should look for a skincare formulation that’s developed with rich hydrating ingredients, as well as ingredients that help tamp down on inflammation and support your skin DNA’s natural regenerative functions. RescueMD Skin DNA Repair Complex is one of the best serums to use after a chemical peel — or really, any medical-grade skincare treatment — because it does all this and more.

what happens if you peel your skin after a chemical peel

If you peel your skin after a chemical peel, you can damage the newly revealed skin cells and cause complications such as scarring, infection, and uneven skin texture. Peeling off the skin prematurely can also expose the underlying layers of skin, which can lead to sensitivity, redness, and pain.

It is important to allow the skin to naturally exfoliate and peel off on its own, which can take several days or even up to a week depending on the type and strength of the chemical peel. During this time, it is important to avoid touching or picking at the skin, as this can also introduce bacteria and irritants that can worsen the healing process.

If you do accidentally peel off some skin after a chemical peel, it is important to keep the area clean and apply a gentle moisturizer to soothe and hydrate the skin. Be sure to follow up with your provider if you experience any excessive redness, swelling, or oozing, or if you have concerns about the healing process. Your provider can give you advice on how to manage any complications and ensure the best possible outcome.

how to hide peeling skin from chemical peel

Most chemical peels, like glycolic, fruit acid, and mandelic peels, work on the surface of the skin delivering a superficial exfoliation. However so chemical peels, such as the VI Peel, goes deep beneath the surface where real change occurs. By targeting the dermis, these medium to deep chemical peels stimulate collagen production, speed up cell migration, and remodel the skin.The deeper the peel the more visible peeling that will occur. While your provider should go over aftercare in depth, here is a list of the do’s and don’ts to managing the peeling.

Chemical Peel Aftercare Dos:

Do treat your skin gently.Be sure to use a very light touch when cleansing your skin or applying products. No aggressive rubbing of any kind. While you may be tempted to try and slough off flaking cells, dont! They are still attached to live cells, and you don’t want to risk pulling anything off that isn’t ready.Do be extra careful when the skin is wet.Water softens dead skin, so it’s very easy to rub off both dead and live cells when the skin is moist. Avoid rubbing washcloths on the treated area or sonic cleansing brushes after a chemical peel. Only pat dry.Do wear sunscreen after a chemical peel.Stating the obvious, but the skin is very vulnerable post-peel. It’s brand new skin on the surface. UV light (even on a cloudy day) is damaging your skin. We highly recommend using a brush-on SPF powder. You can dust it on for a quick and easy, rub-free reapplication.Do limit your time outdoors.After a chemical peel, you’ll want to stay indoors as much as possible to keep your skin protected. The last things you want to expose your skin to are heat and UV light. It’s already in an inflamed state, you don’t want to make it worse.Do use products with soothing ingredients.You want to provide as much comfort to the skin as possible to ease redness and irritation. Us a very gentle (almost lotion like with no acids) and a basic gentle moisturizer. Discontinue any other kind of products such as vitamin c creams or retinol for the time that you are peeling.

Chemical Peel Aftercare Dont’s:

Don’t pick or pull at the flaky skin!The whole purpose of a chemical peel is to lift away surface dry, damaged cell layers and reveal younger-looking, healthy new cells. But to do this, the skin has to shed. It’s the most difficult part of a chemical peel. Picking off dry, flaky skin when it may not be ready to come off can result in scarring, redness, and rashes. You really have to leave it alone.Don’t use a washcloth, facial scrub or sonic cleansing brush. As mentioned above, dead, flaky skin softens up when exposed to water. It can be very tempting to want to rub away that dryness with a washcloth, facial scrub or Clarisonic. Please don’t! You could end up with scabs and scars.Don’t over-moisturize after a chemical peel.To compensate for post-peeling dryness, don’t over-moisturize. When the skin is peeling and flaky, it’s normal to want to continually apply moisturizer to comfort and alleviate dryness, but you don’t want to overdo it. Only apply moisturizer as you normally would, once in the morning and once at night. It’s important to know that the whole purpose of a chemical peel is to peel.Don’t exfoliate with acids or enzymes.Acids and enzymes are meant to help exfoliate the skin. Which is not what you want to do while peeling. You must let the skin shed naturally on its schedule, not on yours.Don’t sweat too much after a chemical peel.Especially at the height of the peeling, your protective barrier is very damaged. No working out until you are completely done peeling. Sweating can create blisters or rashes.So there you have it! The do’s and don’ts of chemical peel aftercare. While the peeling process of a chemical peel can be annoying, the results are completely worth it!

how to stop itching after chemical peel

The chemical face peel is a resurfacing procedure designed to rejuvenate the facial and/or neck skin. The face peel is a safe and effective procedure, but patient compliance and the ability to follow directions are paramount for success. Failure to obey your doctor’s orders can lead to serious complications such as herpes or bacterial infection or permanent scarring.

The day of your face peel, you will present to the office without any makeup. We will degrease your face before the peel and place the peeling solution on your face while you are asleep. When you awake, your face will feel sunburned, but you will not feel major discomfort. We will coat your face with Vaseline, and you will continue to apply this until you see the doctor again.

Facial Peel Pain Management

Most patients do not experience significant pain after a face peel. If your face hurts, the best treatment is to apply cold compresses to the treated areas of the face. We recommend that you take a salad bowl and wash it well. Fill it with water and ice cubes and soak several washcloths (or gauze) in the bowl and keep the bowl in the refrigerator. Apply the cold cloth to the face and this will ease the discomfort and assist the swelling. When the cloth becomes warm, replace it with a new cold soak cloth. You can do this as much as you wish, but doing this will wash off the Vaseline, so remember to place a good coat over the treated areas when needed. Remember, you can perform as many cold soaks and as much healing cream as you wish.

Make sure you have your prescription for the Obagi Conditioning Kit, 3% hydrogen peroxide, and any bland moisturizer you may have. In addition, you will need five to seven days worth of antibiotics to take during your peel.

Washing your Face After a Chemical Peel

Use the Foaming Gel or a gentle cleanser (Neutrogena®, Dove®, Purpose®) to wash your face gently for 20 to 30 seconds twice daily. Lather the cleanser in your hands and gently pat it onto your face, then splash lukewarm water onto your face to rinse. Dry your face by patting gently and then cleaning with a towel. If you have been instructed to use 3% hydrogen peroxide (which reduces the chance of infection), use it diluted (mixed half/half with clean water) after washing your face twice per day. Gently dab onto your face with cotton balls or gauze. It will bubble and may often turn white. If hydrogen peroxide is too irritating and stings, you can dilute the mixture even more with clean water.

After washing and patting your face dry, apply the prescription conditioning ointments as directed, both morning and night. After this has soaked in, apply the mixture of Action® (moisturizer) and Tolereen® (0.05% hydrocortisone) or an equivalent moisturizing and anti-inflammatory ointment you may have (Some prefer 1% hydrocortisone ointment or Catrix®). Apply your ointment or moisturizer gently and do not rub them in hard. You should use the ointment or moisturizer as often as necessary to keep your skin from becoming dry and cracked. It’s better to be too greasy than not greasy enough. Do not let your skin dry out, it will pull on the new tissue underneath and may cause red, irritated areas. You can apply your ointment or moisturizer five times per day, if you so desire. This will reduce the tightness and make you more comfortable. Do not worry if all the ointment does not come off when you wash your face; it will not harm you to leave some on. You may develop occasional whiteheads because of all the ointment on your skin, and this is normal. Do not be alarmed since they will resolve over time. Also, be aware that some mild itching and burning is normal at this time.

The Healing Process

Be sure and minimize facial expressions during your peel. Excessive facial movements will cause the skin to crack prematurely, and this is not a good time to see a funny movie, visit your dentist, or eat a large burger or sandwich.

Do not pick or rub your skin at all! If you must wash your hair, wash it with your head tilted backward in the shower or in the sink. Do not wet your face in the shower, too much water will cause you to peel prematurely and it will leave you with red, sore areas that may lead to scarring or need to be treated again. If large pieces of skin are hanging from your face, they may be cut off carefully with a blunt-nose scissors. Do not sit in a sauna or Jacuzzi or do strenuous exercise at this time. Sweating will make your face sting and it will cause you to peel too soon.

Do not expose your face to sunlight at all during healing (for the first two weeks). If you have to do some exercise, you may go out for a walk in the early morning or late evening, when the sun is barely out. Also make sure that you wear a hat.

During peeling, think of your dark old skin (which is peeling off) as a bandage protecting the fresh skin underneath. The longer you can keep this bandage in place, the better the results of your peel.

You may have some swelling during the first two to three days after your peel, particularly if it is a medium or deep peel. In extreme cases, your eyes may swell almost closed during the first two mornings. This is a normal response and will resolve on its own, but sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate your head may help decrease the swelling in the meantime.

Do not apply ice packs or cold compresses to your face to decrease the swelling. The moisture from these may cause the skin to peel prematurely.

It is important you try to sleep on your back so as to not rub your peeling against the pillow. This could create an area of prematurely peeled skin.

After the peel, sunscreen must be used to protect your skin from the rays of the sun. Keeping sun off the face is very important and important for proper healing. All patients should avoid direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks after surgery. It is also very important to avoid sunlight or sun exposure for the first month after your peel. Failure to do so can cause hyperpigmentation and will reduce the effects of your peel. In addition, sunlight will prompt a quicker return of brown spots. After the tenth day, you should be wearing daily sunscreen (you should be anyhow!). In addition, our office can provide you with medically-based skincare products that will protect the longevity of your facial improvement.

Using sunscreen and sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat are necessary. It is also important to protect your healing skin from sunlight that comes through car or office windows. Using a high-quality sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is recommended. This should be applied several times per day during the healing period. You need to use sunscreen even if wearing a hat, since the reflected rays may also cause damage, and you do have a prescription for sunscreen in your Obagi Kit.

Makeup may be used after one to two days after peeling is complete (usually after a week), and your doctor will advise as to when you may wear it.

If you have unexpected irritation or possible infection, call the office immediately! Do not wait until your next appointment. This is especially important if you think you may be developing a cold sore on your lip.

If you are experiencing a lot of itching, be sure to use plenty of 1% hydrocortisone ointment. You may also try using a daily lotion 4 to 5 times per day. (Refrigerating your lotion will make it feel more soothing.)

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