People come to my medical spa for a chemical peel in London, Ontario, for many different reasons. From reducing wrinkles to improving the appearance of brown spots, chemical peels offer many skin rejuvenation benefits. Chemical peels can also be performed quickly, and some have very little downtime—making them a convenient beauty option.
But while chemical peels are very safe and effective when performed by a trained professional, they can be very risky when attempted at home. That’s because chemical peels contain varying levels of acids, and these acids can have serious consequences if they are applied improperly or for the wrong amount of time.
To better understand the dangers of DIY chemical peels, let’s look at how chemical peels work, what can go wrong, and what to expect from a safe, effective treatment.
How Chemical Peels Work
Chemical peels are made up of acids that break apart skin cells when they are applied to the skin. This process, called chemical exfoliation, removes dead or dull skin from the surface to reveal younger, healthier skin cells beneath. That’s why your skin looks so much more youthful and radiant after a chemical peel treatment.
What Can Go Wrong?
The amount of acid in a chemical peel can vary depending on how strong you want your peel to be. Many over-the-counter peels contain 10% acid or less. This level is considered “safe” for at-home use, but can still cause harm if the peel is used incorrectly (if it’s left on the skin for too long or applied too close to the eyes).
Stronger concentrations of acids produce much more significant improvements and can take years off your appearance, but they also come with more downtime, side effects, and risk. That’s why you won’t see these peels at a drug store or supermarket—they are generally only available in a clinical setting.
Attempting a medical-grade peel at home is very dangerous and puts your health and safety at risk. Here are just a few things that could go wrong:
- You burn. It’s true that chemical peels do burn (and some stinging is to be expected), and a trained professional will know how much is too much. A cosmetic dermatologist in London has the education and expertise to keep you comfortable during treatment.
- You cause skin damage. When you use a peel that is too strong for too long, you can cause permanent skin damage. You may end up with splotchy, uneven skin pigmentation or even scars or burn wounds.
When administered professionally, serious side effects are extremely rare. In fact, a trained medical provider can prevent skin damage from happening. They also can customize the depth of the peel to accommodate the level of side effects you are comfortable with while optimizing your results.
- You get the peel where you shouldn’t. If the acid from your chemical peel gets somewhere it shouldn’t—such as into your eyes—the effects could be devastating. The same is true for areas with thin, sensitive skin—such as around the eyes or mouth.
Experienced, licensed medical providers will apply your peel only where it should be so you don’t have to worry about a mishap.
A Safe and Effective Treatment
Although chemical peels can be dangerous in the wrong hands, when done right, they are truly transformative. Chemical peels are extremely versatile and can benefit almost every skin type and correct a variety of cosmetic concerns, such as:
- Brown spots
- Uneven skin tone
- Poor skin texture
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne scarring
- Large pores
My clients love the way their skin looks and feels after treatment: smooth, soft, evenly-toned, radiant, and youthful. When combined with additional treatments such as medical-grade skincare or BOTOX COSMETIC® in London, Ontario, the results can be even more dramatic and longer lasting.
To find our more or schedule an appointment, request a consultation online or call our office at (519) 472-8686.