What Are Chemical Peels Good for?

Jun 09, 2021

What Are Chemical Peels Good for?

A chemical peel, also known as an acid peel, is a skincare treatment designed to correct a number of cosmetic issues in the targeted area.

A chemical peel, also known as an acid peel, is a skincare treatment designed to correct a number of cosmetic issues in the targeted area. At Generations Family Practice Wellness Center in Cary, NC, we can tailor acid peels to correct such concerns as hyperpigmentation, scarring and wrinkles. Keep reading for a closer look at what chemical peels are good for.

What Are Chemical Peels Good for?

Smoother Skin

Chemical peels can be used to smooth the skin. The strength of the peel determines the number of layers that peel away to reveal the young, healthy fresh tissue hidden beneath the layers of dead tissue. However, at the end of the day, any type of peel can be used to induce collagen production.

Collagen induction smooths away volume-related wrinkles by encouraging the growth of new skin cells and volumizing the treated area, filling in folds, lines and wrinkles. Collagen induction also encourages damaged cells in the treated area to heal themselves. The type and strength of your recommended acid peel will depend on the severity of your wrinkles and other skin concerns.

Brighter Skin

A chemical peel can also be used to brighten your skin. Over time, your skin dulls because the superficial layers of your skin are made up of dead cells. These dead cells trap dirt and debris that lead to dullness. An acid peel removes the top layers of your skin and the dirt and debris that cannot be removed with a facial cleanser. Additionally, increased blood flow and collagen induction in the area allow damaged skin cells to self-heal.

Even Tone

Skin tone issues often arise as the result of sun damage or aging. Over time, the damage to your skin tone can become significant. Peeling away the top layer of skin reveals healthy skin with an even tone.

Acne Reduction

As noted above, the superficial layer of skin is made up of dead tissue and traps oil, dirt, debris and other foreign particles. This results in certain types of acne, including blackheads and whiteheads.

After your acid peel has peeled away the top layer of dead skin cells and debris, your risk of acne breakouts is much lower. Additionally, alpha or beta hydroxy acid can be included in your chemical peel. These acids are known for reducing the production of sebum, another cause of certain types of acne.

Improved Texture

Lines and wrinkles aren’t the only effects aging has on your skin. As you age, your skin may also become rough to the touch or look crepey. After your skin finishes peeling, it will once more look and feel smooth. Additionally, thanks to the collagen induction, you will notice your skin is tighter than it was before treatment. If you have mild-to-moderate sagging, a chemical peel may benefit you significantly.

Scar Reduction

Scar reduction is another thing a chemical peel is good for. Superficial peels can eliminate superficial facial scars, such as acne scars, and fade deeper scars, like surgical scars or trauma scars. Medium peels are good for eliminating moderate facial scars, such as burn scars. If you want to eliminate deep scars, a deep (phenol) peel will be required to achieve your desired aesthetic.


After a chemical peel, your face will look fresher and younger. While this treatment is quick and comfortable, it is a very effective way to shave years off your face by improving your skin tone, texture and tightness.

Improved Product Absorption

Acid peels don’t just remove layers of dead skin cells and debris. They also open up your pores. The result is topical skincare products, such as anti-aging serums, moisturizing creams and anti-acne creams, penetrate your skin more effectively.

What to Expect

An Initial Consultation

Before your course of chemical peels, you must come in for an initial evaluation. At this time, we will review your medical history and assess your unique needs. Once we understand your cosmetic goals, we will advise you on how to best achieve those goals. We will also advise you on what you should expect before, during and after your treatment and answer any questions you have.

Furthermore, we will determine whether you are a good candidate for a chemical peel. Be prepared to tell us about your lifestyle, including how much alcohol you usually consume and whether you are a smoker. We also need to know about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. Furthermore, we need to know about any nutritional supplements you take. Finally, you should be prepared to discuss any previous treatments or procedures you have had and any current medical conditions.

Preparing for Your Treatment

Cleaning Your Skin

When you come in for your chemical peel, your face will be cleaned. Using an alcohol-based cleanser, we will remove all of the bacteria, oil and dirt from the surface of your skin to ensure you get the best possible results.


Depending on your personal preferences, we may apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment area to ensure your continuous comfort throughout your peel. We will discuss anesthesia options with you during your initial consultation. While clients rarely opt for anesthesia for a superficial peel, some clients request numbing before a medium or deep peel.


We will also discuss during your initial consultation whether sedation is appropriate for you. If you would like to be sedated during your peel, we will discuss which method of sedation would be most appropriate. While it is extremely rare for sedation to be required during a peel, you should be aware you can’t drive during the first 24 hours following sedation.


Once your skin is prepared for your peel, it will be applied with a special applicator. The acids used in your peel will depend on the results you are trying to achieve and the severity of your skin concerns. Among the most common acids used in a peel are trichloroacetic acid, lactic acid, carbolic acid, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid.

Usually, two or three acids are used in a peel because each acid provides different benefits. Once we apply your acid solution, we will apply a cold compress to the treatment area. You should expect your skin to feel warm once the topical anesthetic has worn off. How warm your face will feel will depend on the types of acids used during your treatment.


Your peel may take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the targeted area and how severe your concerns are. You are free to return to work once your treatment is complete. Within three to five days of your peel, you will start to see improvements in the tone, texture and elasticity of your skin. Your final results will become apparent roughly seven to 14 days after your peel.


The results of a superficial peel usually last a couple of months depending on the skin concern that was treated. The results of a medium peel can last over a year. However, some results of chemical peels, like scar elimination, are permanent. We will discuss in further detail during your initial consultation how long you should expect your results to last. To extend the results of your treatment, keep your skin clean and hydrated, wear sunscreen and don’t smoke.

How to Prepare for Your Peel


We will advise you during your initial consultation on how to prepare for your peel. At this time, we will give you a list of drugs and supplements, like NSAIDs and fish oil, that should be avoided in the days leading up to your peel.

Depending on your health, you may be advised to take prescriptions before your acid peel or have them available after your session is complete. You should fill any prescriptions before your scheduled appointment.

Sun Exposure

We strongly recommend minimizing sun exposure in the two weeks leading up to your scheduled appointment. Sun exposure damages the skin and may affect the longevity of your results.

When you have to go outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and protect your eyes with a brimmed hat and sunglasses. If you get a sunburn shortly before your scheduled treatment, your session must be postponed.

Complementary Treatments

Before your peel, we need to know about any complementary treatments you are considering. If you plan to get anti-aging injections, advise us of this so we can schedule your peel appropriately. For maximum results, you may need to schedule your treatments several days or weeks apart.

Topical Products

You may need to stop using certain topical products in advance of your peel. For example, retinol-based topical products will affect your treatment results. Additionally, you should refrain from exfoliating your skin in the weeks leading up to your treatment. We will advise you during your initial consultation on which topical products you should avoid before your peel.

Learn How to Rejuvenate Your Skin Today

Acid peels can correct a wide range of cosmetic concerns, including wrinkles, sun damage and acne scars. To find out which peel is right for you, book an appointment today by contacting us at Generations Family Practice Wellness Center in Cary, NC.