Turn Back the Hands of Time with a Deep Chemical Peel

 In Aging, Medical Spa

If you have significant wrinkling or discoloration, severe sun damage, growths or lesions on your face, it’s not uncommon to feel self-conscious about the impression your appearance makes on others. In fact, studies have shown that many people with these issues have much lower levels of self-confidence as well as self-reported lower quality of life measures. But if you think that the only way you can look and feel your best is with an invasive surgical procedure like a full or partial facelift, you’re wrong. For many people, a deep chemical peel can provide the results they’re seeking at a lower cost, with less risk and a faster recovery.

Deep peels use a chemical called phenol to penetrate the deeper layers of skin, undoing the damage Mother Nature creates over time, including severe wrinkles, sun damage and deep acne scarring. Because they reach the deeper layers, they can also cause lightening of the skin, making them a good choice for some people with uneven pigmentation; this lightening effect also means deep peels are not a good choice for people with darker skin tones since they can cause an unwanted bleaching effect and uneven tone.

What to Expect

The peels typically take from an hour to 90 minutes and remove several layers of skin to uncover deeper, healthier layers and stimulate the development of collagen as the skin heals. The result is smoother, clearer skin with finer texture and tighter tone.

To prepare for the peel, you’ll need to follow a specific regimen for two to three weeks prior to your procedure, cleansing and moisturizing regularly and using sunscreen. You may also be asked to use a Retin-A-type gel to help ensure your skin is in the best shape possible for a deeper peel, and in some cases, you may also be prescribed a short course of antibiotics to prevent infection after your procedure.

Prior to the procedure, you’ll be given a pain reliever and sedative if you feel especially anxious about the procedure. Especially when larger areas are being treated, medications and fluids may be delivered through an IV to keep you comfortable. Most treatments are performed on one portion of the face at a time, leaving a 10- or 15-minute break between areas to keep you comfortable.

Once the peel is complete, an ointment will usually be applied to soothe and protect the treatment area during the initial hours of healing, and you’ll be provided with detailed instructions on how to care for your skin while it heals. Over-the-counter painkillers can be used to relieve discomfort, and you may be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection.


The peeling that occurs with a deep peel is more significant than what occurs following a medium-depth peel, typically taking about two weeks. Most people take time off from work during this healing phase. You can expect your skin to remain red for several weeks following your peel, and complete healing can take a few months.

For many people, deep peels can provide the long-lasting, significant results they’re hoping for. If you think a deep peel might be a good choice for you, give our office a call today at 212-772-7242 and schedule an evaluation to learn about all your options.

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