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Chemical Peel Aftercare Instructions


Here’s what to expect before, during, and after a PCA skin peel procedure.

Before your peel
Before your skin peel, you’ll discuss your needs with a doctor or skin specialist trained in PCA Skin products. This could be a few weeks before the treatment or closer to the time of your peel. You may need to apply some products to your skin for 1 or 2 weeks before your treatment for optimal results.

Day of peel
On the day of your procedure, your doctor or skin care professional will first clean your skin. Then they’ll evenly apply the chemical solution. Superficial PCA skin peels are applied in layers and left on your skin. They’re not timed and removed like deeper chemical peels. The strength of a superficial PCA peel is controlled by the number of layers applied. The specialist will apply a calming topical lotion with broad-spectrum SPF protection on top of your final layer before sending you home.

After your peel
Your doctor or skin specialist will give you instructions on how to care for your skin immediately after the procedure, such as how soon you may wash your face after the chemical peel and what products to apply. Be sure to follow these instructions. Superficial chemical peels from PCA Skin may require very little following the procedure. Your skin specialist may even allow you to apply makeup 15 minutes after the procedure to cover up skin flaking or redness. Within the first 2 days of your procedure, you should avoid:

  • overheating

  • hot showers, baths, and other hot steam

  • hair dryers near the treated area

  • swimming

  • activities that result in a lot of sweating

  • exfoliating the treated skin

  • icing or heating the treated area

You should avoid direct sun exposure in the 1 or 2 weeks following the peel. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, and don’t use a tanning bed within 2 weeks. Delay other skin treatments near the affected area for 5 or more days. You should also use any products following the procedure as recommended by your skin specialist. They’ll determine the most effective combination of products for your skin type. This may include a gentle skin cleanser and a noncomedogenic moisturizer and sunscreen. Discuss medications you take with your skin specialist to ensure your safety and reduce the chance of a reaction following your procedure.

Contact your doctor or skin care professional if:

  • You’re in extreme discomfort following the procedure.

  • Your symptoms worsen after the initial recovery period.

  • You have any other concerns.

Are there any potential side effects of a PCA peel?
Most PCA peels target only the first layer of skin. That’s why the recovery time is much shorter than for a medium or deep peel and why the procedure causes very few side effects.

Superficial PCA peels
Side effects from a superficial peel will affect the treated skin and typically include:

  • shedding or flaking

  • redness

  • tightness

  • dryness

Medium-depth PCA peels
Medium-depth peels can cause more serious side effects, including:

  • blisters

  • cold sores (a herpes simplex breakout)

  • acne

  • skin spots

You can lessen your risk of developing these side effects by using a credentialed skin professional for your PCA peel.

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