Chemical peels can be an excellent way to address skin problems and help your skin look younger, more vibrant and healthy. But what do you expect after you get one? After a chemical peel, you will feel like your face is tight and dry. This is normal. It’s because the peel has removed the top layer of dead skin cells, so it takes some time for new layers of skin cells to grow back in their place. You may experience redness or swelling for up to three days after your treatment. This too is normal. If you experience any pain or excessive redness beyond day three, please contact your doctor immediately!
The appearance of your skin completely depends on what type of peel was performed. Some patients see dramatic results right away, others require multiple treatments before seeing their desired results. It really depends on how much damage has been done to the skin beforehand (and whether or not it had been treated before). To treat fine lines around the eyes, lips or mouth area, we use an enzyme called TCA (trichloroacetic acid) which causes deep exfoliation of that area by dissolving the outer layer of dead skin cells but does not affect deeper layers of tissue underneath it.
Read on to learn more about What To Expect After Chemical Peel, Brow Lift Recovery Headache & Endoscopic Brow Lift Complications
What To Expect After Chemical Peel
Chemical peels are one of today’s most popular minimally invasive skin rejuvenation treatments. Peels can be fully customized for the needs of each patient; there are peels to trigger collagen production, clear acne/blemishes, address pigmentation issues (even the skin tone), and smooth even the roughest of skin.
If you’re considering a chemical peel, here’s everything you can expect before, during, and after treatment.
WHAT IS A CHEMICAL PEEL?
A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing treatment which uses a liquid acidic solution to exfoliate the top layers of skin. Chemical peels may be light and superficial, or can go deeper, depending on the type of formula used.
Chemical peels commonly involve glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or retinoic acid. These same ingredients are in many of your favorite skin care products. During a chemical peel treatment, stronger solutions are used.
WHAT SKIN CONDITIONS CAN A PEEL TREAT?
Chemical peels result in improved skin texture and tone. They result in smoother, tighter, more glowing and youthful skin. Chemical peels are typically optimized to treat one or more of the following conditions:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne, scarring or other blemishes
- Excessive sebum production
While often performed on the face, chemical peels can also be done on the neck, chest or hands.
HOW IS A CHEMICAL PEEL PERFORMED?
Depending on your skin’s sensitivity and your desired results, there are many options for your chemical peel, each of which penetrates to a different depth. You and your provider will decide which is best for you during your consultation.
A professional chemical peel (in contrast to a less powerful at-home peel) is performed in-office, and you’ll return home the same day. During your peel, you’ll lie face up with your eyes protected. A neutral gel or protectant may be applied around your eyes and lips to keep chemicals from reaching those areas.
If you’ve selected a deep peel, you may be given some relaxing pain medication prior to the procedure.
The liquid peel is then applied to your face using a brush, cotton applicator or spatula. Areas with the thickest skin, such as the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin are addressed first, then the liquid is spread to additional areas.
When the treatment is complete, a cool or neutralizing wash may be used to clean the peeling agent from your skin.
PREPARING FOR YOUR CHEMICAL PEEL
In preparation for your chemical peel, your provider will give you a list of recommended dos and don’ts. Following these preparatory steps helps thin the top layer of skin, allowing your chemical peel to penetrate more deeply for enhanced results. These tips also reduce risk of scarring or hyperpigmentation.
Your provider’s suggestions will likely include the following:
- Avoid Sun Exposure
Within 10 days of your peel, avoid sun exposure whenever possible and use sunscreen daily. This will help reduce risk of discoloration.
- Avoid Waxing
Refrain from facial waxing, electrolysis or other depilatories in the week leading up to your treatment.
- Avoid Excess Exfoliation
Stop the use of prescription acne medications, retinol products such as Retin-A, and strong AHA or BHA products at least 7 days prior to your chemical peel.
- Avoid Aspirin & Advil
Refrain from taking aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Advil the week prior to your peel.
In the week leading up to your peel, drink plenty of water and stop using any products not mentioned above that cause your skin to dry
- 24-Hours Prior
Avoid going to the gym or excessively sweating in the 24-72 hours prior to your appointment.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR PEEL
A chemical peel is not as relaxing as a facial, but it offers better and longer-lasting results. During your peel, you may experience the following sensations:
Sensations of tingling and itching are completely normal during your peel.
It’s normal to feel as though your skin is tightening or being slightly pulled.
- Temperature Changes
Your skin may feel like it’s warming or cooling. People react to peels in different ways, but both sensations are normal.
If at any point, the sensation becomes too uncomfortable, communicate this to your provider.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR PEEL
A chemical peel damages skin in a controlled manner to initiate skin cell turnover. Because of this, chemical peels involve a recovery process. You can expect the following during this time:
- Your skin may be red or discolored a few days after your peel, especially if you have a light complexion.
- Small whiteheads may develop – but this is not a breakout. Let them be and it will resolve on its own.
- Flaking, peeling or shedding may occur, generally 3 days after your procedure. Let it be to avoid risk of permanent hyperpigmentation.
- Your skin may feel dry or tight. This is normal and will pass on its own.
At any point, if you feel your redness is increasing or your skin is crusting over, contact your doctor. To avoid complications and hasten the healing process, keep the following tips in mind:
Keep Skin Clean and Cool For 24-48 Hours After Treatment
Keep skin clean by avoiding makeup. Avoid raising your temperature with activities such as exercise, sweating, steam rooms or saunas. Keep hair dryers away from your face, and refrain from drinking alcohol.
No Manual Exfoliation
Until your skin heals, avoid touching your face, peeling or picking at loose skin, or attempting to exfoliate with scrubs, loofahs or towels. Doing so can lead to permanent skin discoloration.
No Chemical Exfoliation
As your skin recovers, continue to refrain from using prescription acne medications, retinols, retinoids, or hydroxy acids acidic for at least 10 days.
Moisturize with Care
Avoid applying ice or cold water to your face. Instead, keep skin moisturized. Your provider can recommend a moisturizer to use for post-treatment. Use it twice daily or more, as needed.
Refrain from waxing, electrolysis or other forms of hair removal in the treatment area for at least 10 days.
Continue to avoid direct sun exposure until your skin has fully healed. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when you go outdoors.
Avoid Additional Treatments
In addition to the above, do not have another chemical peel until your doctor tells you it is safe to do so.
HOW LONG DO PEEL RESULTS LAST?
How long your peel lasts will depend on the strength of your chemical peel, the specific formula used and your adherence to pre and post treatment instructions. The following are general guidelines:
Superficial Peels: These gentle peels commonly use salicylic acid or glycolic acid and address only the outermost layers of the skin. They require no down time. These peels may last between 1-2 months.
Medium Depth Peels: These peels may use trichloroacetic acid among other formulas and penetrate more deeply into the skin for the removal of lines or discoloration. Results last between 2-6 months.
Deep Peels: Performed under the guidance of a doctor, these peels use strong acids to remove deeper lines and improve skin’s tautness. Results of a deep chemical peel may last for years.
Brow Lift Recovery Headache
“Beauty is pain,” as the saying goes — but modern cosmetics experts are proving that beauty can relieve pain rather than causing it. Surgeons have found that brow lifts can alleviate migraines, thanks to a few key elements of the surgery. Migraine headaches affect millions of Americans each year, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, and up to 90% of migraine sufferers experience pain severe enough to affect normal functions like driving, working or conversing. In addition, migraines are a chronic illness; that is, they don’t simply strike once fleetingly, but those who struggle with migraines experience them on a recurring basis and even for days at a time. There is also no known cure for migraine headaches. While there are some preventive measures as well as medications that can help manage the pain of a migraine flare-up, many people struggle to find a solution to keep their headaches at bay.
WHAT IS BROW LIFT SURGERY?
Brow lifts, sometimes called forehead lifts or upper facelifts, focus on diminishing the appearance of wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. These surgeries can address horizontal forehead lines, worry lines between the brows and crow’s feet. They are also commonly combined with eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, to correct sagging or drooping eyelids. Depending on the extent of your lines and wrinkles, your surgeon can perform brow lift surgery using one of three techniques: an endoscopic brow lift, a temporal brow lift or a coronal brow lift.
Endoscopic brow lifts have become increasingly popular in recent years because they are the least invasive option. Your surgeon uses small incisions through which they insert a thin, flexible tool with a small camera attached — they can view and manipulate the tissues underlying the skin of your brow without lifting the skin completely.
Temporal brow lifts involve slightly larger incisions than endoscopic lifts, positioned at the edges of the temples. This type of lift is the current industry standard for clients who require more work than an endoscopic lift can accomplish, and is usually the type of brow lift performed when a client is interested in an eyelid surgery as well.
Coronal brow lifts are the most invasive, using an incision that spans the full length of the brow from temple to temple along the hairline. This technique is somewhat outmoded and is currently only used in special cases.
No matter which type of brow lift is right for you, there is one distinguishing factor — unlike full facelifts, which often focus on removing stretched or excess skin causing an aged appearance, brow lifts focus on facial muscles. The main cause of forehead wrinkles is overworked facial muscles; when you make a certain facial expression particularly often, your muscles will become somewhat stuck in their tensed position, leaving behind the furrows or crinkles of a worried look or squint. During a brow lift, your surgeon removes and repositions some of your brow muscles to release this tension and smooth your brow to a more youthful, relaxed position.
Migraines aren’t like the headaches you get when you’re tired or dehydrated. They are characterized by intense, throbbing pain that often results in nausea; sensitivity to sounds, smells and light; dizziness and even temporary sight impairment. While the pulsing pain initially led doctors to believe that migraines were caused by dysfunctional blood vessels, today’s understanding is that migraines are primarily neurological. The sensory effects of migraine attacks suggest that the headaches stem from the brain and nerves, and indeed, the most common and often effective medications for migraines treat the headaches using this principle.
Brain scans of patients experiencing migraines show a burst of activity in parts of the brainstem, an area known for processing mood and pain. In addition, a network of neurons responsible for transmitting pain around the eyes, teeth, forehead and sinuses are particularly active during a migraine. Scientists also believe that this particular network of nerves releases inflammatory chemicals as a response to specific stimuli, which contributes to the throbbing and puts even more sensory pressure around areas already sensitive from a migraine.
HOW A BROW LIFT CAN HELP
The nerves associated with migraines are located in the same areas as the muscles that cause forehead wrinkles. The added tension in the forehead not only makes migraine pressure worse but can even start to pinch some of the facial nerves and trigger migraines more frequently. When your surgeon uses a brow lift to release or remove these tensed muscles and open up more space in the tissues of the forehead, the nerves in the area are also freed from constriction and are less likely to cause shooting migraine pain.
Research also shows that minor muscle tension in the brow can cause non-migraine headaches or generalized forehead and temple pain, only serving to worsen the symptoms of migraines. Restoring relaxation to your upper face with a brow lift can go a long way toward relieving that daily dull ache as well as the debilitating discomfort of a migraine. The brow lift’s effectiveness at smoothing unwanted lines and wrinkles combined with its tension-relief benefits gives this cosmetic surgery the ability to improve your life in more ways than one — the confidence of a reflection you love and the relief of reduced head pain and tension.
Despite the apparent benefits, opinions are mixed amongst plastic surgeons, as well as The American Board of Plastic Surgery. For those reasons, we do not perform brow lifts to help treat migraines, but your primary physician can provide you with more comprehensive information about if this procedure has the potential to help you.
Endoscopic Brow Lift Complications
A brow lift is usually performed by a plastic surgeon.
A brow lift is an aesthetic surgical procedure to correct the loss of soft tissue elasticity in the upper third of the face. Excess sagging skin around the forehead causing drooping (ptosis) of the brows and wrinkling of the forehead is removed by repositioning the underlying muscle and tissue. It creates a more refreshed, youthful appearance in the upper third area of the face. It can also be combined with a facelift. A brow lift is usually performed by a plastic surgeon.
Endoscopy is the insertion through a surgical incision of a flexible tube with a lighted camera and surgical instruments. The endoscope is now used in a variety of reconstructive and cosmetic surgical procedures. Endoscopic brow lift surgery has gained widespread acceptance, is minimally invasive, and heals faster than traditional brow lift surgery.
Why do people seek endoscopic brow lift surgery?
Aesthetically, the face is divided into three equal parts, of which the forehead (from the top of the eyebrow to the anterior hairline) occupies the upper third. In males this area averages 7 cm and in females it averages 5 cm.
The male eyebrow is less arched than the female eyebrow. The top of the eyebrow lies approximately 2.5 cm from the mid pupil. With aging, these parameters may shift. A lesser distance denotes eyebrow drooping (ptosis).
Loss of forehead skin elasticity from genetics, sun damage, and gravity causes eyebrow drooping, with resultant upper eyelid drooping and dissatisfaction with the appearance.
Aging causes depletion of the subcutaneous fat. This leads to forehead wrinkling, the direction of which depends upon the underlying muscle.
Why is endoscopic brow lift surgery done?
- Aged appearance: Patients may worry they have a tired, surprised, worried, or an annoyed look, appearing older than their actual age
- Eyebrow drooping: Patients may feel an uncomfortable weight of tissue on their eyes
- Forehead wrinkling
- Eyebrow elevation
- Improve eyebrow symmetry
- Change eyebrow shape
- Decrease the function of muscles causing brow wrinkling
When should endoscopic brow lift surgery be avoided?
Endoscopic brow lift surgery should be avoided with:
- Conditions causing dry eyes
- Excessive brow elevation after upper eyelid surgery
- A tendency for keloids or thick scarring
- Psychological instability
- Unrealistic cosmetic expectations
- Poor general health and systemic conditions
What happens during the endoscopic brow lift procedure?
Before the procedure
- Routine blood and radiological investigations will be done.
- Patients may be advised to shampoo their hair with antibacterial soap/shampoo the night before or morning of surgery.
- Hair does not need to be shaved.
During the procedure
- An endoscopic brow lift is performed under general anesthesia or with intravenous (IV) sedation and local anesthesia.
- Multiple small incisions are made just behind the hairline (most surgeons make 3- to 5-cm incisions), through which the endoscope and instruments are inserted.
- Brow tissue is gently released and elevated.
- Excess tissue is removed.
- The muscles are elevated, pulled up and anchored to the bone using anchors made of titanium which look like small screws of 2 mm width. They may be temporary or permanent and do not cause permanent damage.
- The incisions are sutured and dressed.
- A small surgical drain may be inserted — a clear tube is inserted through a small incision below the main incision.
After the procedure
- Post-operative pain can be managed with painkillers.
- Antibiotics may be necessary.
- Patients are advised to rest with their head elevated for two weeks.
- Patients are usually discharged the same day or 24 hours after surgery.
- The drain may be removed after 24 hours.
- The dressing may be removed after 48 hours.
- Patients can shower and wash their hair after 48 hours, using mild shampoos prescribed by the surgeon.
- The surgeon may prescribe medicated ointments to apply to the wounds.
- Patients should not use any hair products for at least seven days.
- Depending on the type of suture used, the surg