Do the results of a Chemical Peel Last Long?

I got a Chemical Peel last week and was interested in how long these results will last. When should I go get another Chemical Peel? I love the results so I do not want to mismanage how I look over time. Are future chemical peels easier to handle after one has been done already?

SillyBeaver

F, 40, New Jersey

Tags:results

Consensus

  • Exactly how long your chemical peel will last depends on a number of factors. These factors include the type and concentration of your chemical peel, and what specific skin issues you are addressing.
  • Professional peels like TCA peels can be used to treat age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Light peels like alpha-hydroxy acid are used to improve skin tone and treat rough skin.
  • A light peel will generally last for 1 to 2 months. Deeper peels can last for a year or longer.
  • How frequently you should repeat the treatment is a question for your dermatologist and depends on your unique skin sensitivity and on how well your skin tolerates the treatment.

The consensus is based on 3 doctor replies to this question. For more details, scroll down to read them.


Unfortunately, the beautiful skin-smoothing effects of light and medium chemical peels wear off within a matter of weeks to months. The effects of deeper peels, however, can last for years. Exactly how much time you'll need between peels depends on the strength and type of peel you had.

For example, a light TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel at a 15% chemical solution is very easy to tolerate and can be repeated every month. If you had a stronger 25% TCA peel, most patients wait about 3 months before they're ready for another. Patients receiving deep chemical peels like a TCA peel at a 40% concentration or higher generally wait six to 12 months before getting another treatment.

You'll also need to consider your own personal skin sensitivity. Some patients with sensitive skin experience a longer recovery time and need more time between peels. Over time, and with each successive peel treatment, your skin will become more accustomed to higher strengths.

While higher concentrations offer long-lasting chemical peel results, most plastic surgeons and dermatologists today prefer laser treatments over deep chemical peels. If you had a light peel and are looking for a longer-lasting treatment for sun damage or uneven skin tones, I recommend talking to your doctor about laser skin resurfacing.

The answer depends on the specifics of your peel. There are many types of chemical peels and they come in a range of strengths. These strengths are commonly categorized into "superficial peels", "medium peels" and "deep peels". Most peels available today are superficial and medium peels. Deep peels are not nearly as common due to the strength of the preparation and the longer recovery time required afterwards.

I can't give you any specific answers to your questions without knowing what type of chemical peel you had, what type of skin you have or what type of skin condition you were addressing.

Which type of chemical peel is right for you depends on your goals and skin type. If you had a light chemical peel, you might need to repeat the treatment monthly. In most cases a medium-depth TCA peel to address acne scars, age spots, fine lines or damage from sun exposure can usually be repeated after 60 to 90 days.

For a more specific answer, you should consult with your dermatologist to determine whether your skin is ready for another treatment session.

How long a chemical peel lasts depends largely upon how aggressive/deep the peel was.  Superficial peels tend to have milder results that last a few months, whereas deeper peels tend to have more dramatic results that last several months to years.  Following the peel, it is very important to keep up with a proper skin care regimen to help the effects of the peel last as long as possible.  This includes facials with microdermabrasion and in some cases IPL therapy.  A home regimen of cleansers and serums are important as well.