Chemical Peels: Explained by Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Stephanie Teotia is a board certified Dallas plastic surgeon with a full menu of services for her patients. One of her more popular treatment offerings is a chemical peel. If you’ve never had this type of procedure before, you may need to have chemical peels explained to you. Before you come in for an initial consultation, here are some basic facts about the chemical peels Dr. Teotia offers.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is used for the purpose of removing the top layers of the skin. The strength of the peel dictates how many layers of skin will be removed. A light peel removes the epidermis layer and can be performed every two to five weeks. A medium peel removes the epidermis and portions of the dermis and requires a three to nine month waiting period between peels. A deep chemical peel removes the epidermis and the mid to lower layer of dermis. Because this is a deeper treatment it can only be performed once.

What does it treat?

Chemical peels are used to treat many superficial skin imperfections. More pronounced imperfections will require stronger peels to see optimal results.  For example: a light peel can treat fine lines but deep wrinkles are treated with a stronger, deeper chemical peel. Other problems that can successfully treated with chemical peel treatment(s) include acne, scars, skin discoloration, age spots, and some precancerous growths. Many patients see great improvement after treatment and proper aftercare. Dr. Teotia has a library of before and after photographic examples for you to view during your consultation.

Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?

Patients with fair skin and light hair tend to have the best results. Patients with darker skin tones may have some skin coloration after a peel, and each patient will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Patients with a history of cold sores, facial warts, skin discoloration, or who are taking certain medications may be advised against a chemical peel.

How can I prepare for treatment?

In the week leading up to your peel, do not perform any bleaching, waxing, or depilatory hair removal methods as these can irritate the skin. Also cease the use of facial scrubs and facial massages during that week.

What happens during a chemical peel treatment?

Chemical peels are an in-office procedure. A light peel does not require anesthesia. Patients receiving medium-strength peels may be given the option of a sedative. Deep peels usually require a sedative or local anesthesia. Dr. Teotia will clean your face so the peel has the best chance to work on an even surface. The chemical solution will be applied to your face with a cotton ball or swab.

What are the side effects?

During the procedure you may feel tingling, heat or cold, and your skin may feel tight. After the peel there may be pain and discomfort, peeling skin for a week to ten days, sensitivity, or reddened skin.

Are there any special instructions to follow after treatment?

Stay out of the sun, stay hydrated and avoid harsh cleansers and exfoliating products until your skin heals completely. As needed for pain, you can use ice packs and take OTC pain relievers or any pain medicine prescribed by Dr. Teotia.

What are the risks?

  • There is a small chance of scarring but it is minimal if the patient adheres to post-treatment instructions.
  • The carbolic acid used in a deep chemical peel can cause an irregular heartbeat in some patients and can damage the liver or kidneys at long exposure intervals, so the peel is only applied for 10-20 minute intervals as a precaution.
  • In some cases you may observe changes in skin color.
  • Infection is always a risk with any procedure.

How much does it cost?

As a special promotion for the month of October in honor of breast cancer awareness month, just bring in a copy of your mammogram and a chemical peel procedure is free!