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All chemical peels carry some risks and uncertainties. It's usually a very safe procedure when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. It happens infrequently, but you could develop an infection or scarring from a chemical peel.
For people with certain skin types, there is a risk of developing a temporary or permanent color change in the skin. Birth control pills, getting pregnant or family history of brownish discoloration on the face may increase the possibility of developing abnormal pigmentation.
If you have suffered from cold sores (herpes) in the past, there is a small risk of reactivation. Be sure to tell your doctor because they may prescribe medication before and immediately after a chemical peel to avoid an outbreak.
Inform your physician if you have a history of keloids (scar tissue overgrowth) or any unusual scarring tendencies.
You are likely to experience some redness, stinging, skin crusting and irritation from a Light Chemical Peel. These side effects will likely subside after repeated treatments. Other risks include:
When trichloroacetic acid is used in a Medium Chemical Peel, you will experience some redness, stinging and skin crusting just like a Light Chemical Peel. And although these chemicals won't bleach your skin, you may see some color changes. You are advised to avoid the sun for several months to protect the fresh new layer of skin. Other risks include:
The chemical used for this kind of peel, phenol, can lighten the skin that is treated. Your skin tone may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you. With a Deep Chemical Peel, your new skin often loses its ability to make pigment, meaning a tan. You will always need to protect your skin from the sun. Phenol also can pose a special risk for people with heart disease. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any heart problems and include it in your medical history. Other risks include:
A Deep Chemical Peel requires that you have an adequate recovery time. You may return to work and some of your normal activities 2 weeks after treatment. At that point, your skin will be healed enough for you to wear makeup.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons