Peel Care - The Skin Center

Peel Care

Deep Chemical Peel Pre/Post Instructions

Some patients may not require sedation.  If the Physician indicates sedation, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home.  Without sedation, you will experience a mild burning sensation that lasts 2 to 3 minutes.  Shortly after your peel, your skin may feel tight and irritated.  You may wish to take oral pain medication to ease the discomfort.  The whitish “frost” will turn a pinkish color over several hours, followed by a steady darkening of the skin surface over the next few days.  Your skin will begin to peel within 2 to 3 days and should be healed in an average of 7 days.  Peeling on nonfacial areas may take slightly longer.  Within 10 days, you should be able to resume normal activities.  


  • Purchase a bleaching agent, Elta, and a Sunblock before your procedure.  Please inform your provider of a sensitivity to petrolatum 
  • Skin preconditioning is advised prior to treatment.  If this has not been discussed with you, please notify the office immediately. Use your bleaching cream and Retin A to the area to be treated for one month prior to treatment.  Stop the Retin A, glycolic and Vitamin C one week prior to your procedure. 
  • You will be given a prescription for Valtrex to prevent an outbreak of cold sores.  Begin taking this medication the day before the peel.  Call the office if you have not received this prescription.  
  • Cigarette smoking must be stopped at least two weeks before your peel. 


  • Cleansing Instructions: 
    • For the first nine days, cleanse your face at least 4 times daily with a mild facial cleanser (Toleriane, Cetaphil) using lukewarm water. 
    • Use your fingertips and let your face air dry. 
    • DO NOT PEEL, RUB OR FORCE OFF ANY SKIN.  Picking at the skin will lead to scarring. 
    • Reapply the ointment as soon as your face becomes somewhat dry. 
  • Keep your face moist with Elta for the first nine days.  When using the ointment, rub a moderate amount between your hands before applying.  This will warm the ointment.  ALWAYS wash your hands well before touching your face 
  • Apply sunscreen beginning on day 10. 
  • Do not wear make-up while the skin is healing. 
  • Male patients should avoid shaving during the healing period.  If shaving is necessary, use an electric razor, very gently and lightly.  Do not use any pre- or after- shave products until healing is complete. 
  • Do not exercise or perform strenuous activities until your peel is completely healed.  Cardio-type workouts and jogging should be avoided for at least one month because increased blood flow can cause broken blood vessels in new skin. 
  • Do not allow shampoo products to accumulate on dry or treated skin surfaces.  Avoid using hair spray for the first week after treatment. 
  • Avoid prolonged use of constrictive items such as hats, shower caps, eyeglasses, or visors in peeled areas until the skin has healed over. 
  • Elevate your head while in bed with two pillows for the first few nights after your peel to relieve discomfort and help prevent swelling. 
  • Use cold compresses to your eyes for the first 24 hours, as needed. 
  • Liquids or soft foods should be taken for the first few days.  Conversation should be kept to a minimum if the cheeks or lips have been treated.
  • When using the telephone, hold the receiver away from your face for 7 days. 
  • Wash your hands frequently. 
  • Avoid cooking, due to the heat near your face for 7 days. 
  • Start applying bleaching agent twice a day starting 2 weeks post-peel.  Do not use Retin-A until advised, typically 6 weeks post-peel.   
  • Absolutely no smoking for one month after peel. 
  • Redness of skin will vary from person to person.  The fading back to normal color is a very individual process starting around day 10. 
  • Skin may feel very dry following the procedure. 
  • Post-peel appointments will need made to evaluate your progress.   

 If you have any questions or concerns, call The Skin Center at 1-800-429-1151. 

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