How do I prepare for a chemical peel?
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have before your surgery, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your treatment, your surgeon may ask you to:
- Stop smoking before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
- Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
- Hydrate before and after surgery for safe recovery.
- Follow a pretreatment program during which you will apply special creams, lotions or gels to your skin for a few weeks or longer (depends on your skin qualities and the depth of the planned chemical peel treatment).
- Take a prescription antiviral medication before and after your treatment to prevent a viral infection (if you have a history of herpes or cold sores around your mouth).
- Take certain oral medications prior to your treatment.
Chemical peels are usually outpatient procedures. If you have a deep peel, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your treatment and stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
What can I expect the day of my chemical peel?
Be sure to consult with your surgeon before your treatment so you have the most accurate expectations.
Light to Medium Chemical Peels
- You likely will have a light to medium chemical peel in an office-based setting.
- You won’t need sedation or anesthesia.
- Most light to medium peels typically take about thirty minutes to an hour to complete.
Deep Chemical Peels
- You may have your deep chemical peel in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite.
- Most deep peels take at least thirty minutes to two hours to complete but may take longer.
- The surgeon will administer medications for your comfort during the procedure.
- Depending on the type of chemical peel chosen and the area treated, local anesthesia may be adequate; however, for larger areas, your surgeon may recommend sedation or general anesthesia.
- For your safety during the treatment, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
- Your surgeon will follow the treatment plan discussed with you before your treatment.
- After your treatment, you will go to a recovery area for continued monitoring.
You likely can go home after a short observation period unless you and your aesthetic plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate post-treatment recovery.