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How a Peel Feels

The state of your skin after a peel depends on what kind of peel you had. The superficial peels, like those at Skin Laboratory, have limited effects, the medium peels may cause some redness and the deeper peels may require weeks to recover.

During  a chemical peel experiences range from a mild degree of “tingling” to a “warm” feeling; much like that of a sunburn. Occasionally there is a slight itchy sensation while the acid is in contact with the skin. There may also be a few brief minutes of a strong burning or tingling sensation on the skin which will quickly subside before the end of the procedure.

Different degrees of intensity are adjusted to match your preference and comfort level. If you sense burning too intense to tolerate remove the peel.


Upon neutralizing the peel, the skin feels fresh and smooth without discomfort. The use of a fan or hair dryer with a cool button can be very comforting and lessen the amount or burn or tingling on the surface of the skin. Also, you can try using a cold damp cloth and pressing the treated area of skin only after the acid has already been washed off with water. Ice packs or compresses may be also used to reduce any discomfort.

If you experience swelling or redness on the skin, an anti-inflammatory may be used such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, but most patients who have a superficial chemical peel treatment say they are surprised that the pain is less than they anticipated. With a deeper peel using a phenol acid, however, there may be pain afterward for several days or weeks throughout the healing process.

Physical peeling of the skin can sometimes be seen in the following days. This is dependent on the amount of regular exfoliation done in the past.

You may also notice dryness in some areas of your face. If this occurs, use a moisturizer. If the dryness persists, use the peel less frequently. Remember, more is not necessarily better.

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