Itching skin after a chemical peel is a normal side effect. Read on to learn more about what to expect after a peel and how to curb your urge to scratch!
Definition of a Chemical Peel
A chemical peel is a procedure performed by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to refine and improve the condition of facial skin. It is done by removing damaged outer layers with a chemical solution that literally "burns" off dead skin cells and superficial layers. It is a godsend for those experiencing problematic acne scars, stubborn blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
The chemicals used in the peel are often trichloroacetic acid and alphahydroxy acids. The formula is adjusted to meet the requirements of the patient's individual facial chemistry, and it can be used in combination with a face lift if necessary. It must always be performed by a certified doctor and like any medical procedure there is at least slight risk involved.
Itching Skin After a Chemical Peel
Since a chemical peel actually works as a new twist on a classic sunburn, you will find you experience some of the same symptoms as your skin heals. One of these is a persistent itching in the treated area of the skin and the urge to want to scratch as your skin flakes.
The itching is caused by the regeneration of new skin cells taking place, and giving in to your desires to scratch can halt the healing process and cause complications. The amount of itching and redness you incur is based upon how deep of a penetration the chemical peel made. If you had more severe skincare issues, chances are you will be itching more intensely for an extended period of time, sometimes up to two weeks.
You can control your itching in a variety of ways, but the main thing to remember is scratching may bring temporary relief, but it also may result in wasted time, money, and suffering if you do not heal correctly because of it. Instead, try the tips listed below to relieve the intolerable tickling under your skin and get ready to enjoy your gorgeous new look.
Curbing the Itch
Much like you would for a healing sunburn or mosquito bite, one of the best things you can do for itching skin after a chemical peel is to invest in some traditional over the counter antihistamines. This will reduce swelling and redness as well, leaving you not only feeling better but looking better too.
You can also apply cold compresses to the affected area if you find the temptation to scratch is still there. The cold compress will soothe the skin and tone down the amount of inflammation you are experiencing.
Ask your doctor if your type of chemical peel allows for the use of calamine lotion or aloe vera following the procedure. Many will indeed allow this and applying the lotions will help to bring relief while delivering healthy nutrients to the skin at the same time. Opt for a natural formula rather than one full of additives and other unnecessary ingredients if you want to continue down the road of healthy, toxin-free skin after your peel.
Your Daily Life
An itching sensation is normal and not considered to be a dangerous side effect. Albeit annoying, many people are able to return to work despite the dreaded itch and other bonuses that come in the weeks following a chemical peel. It is never a good idea to wear makeup until the skin is completely healed, as this keeps your pores from breathing and causes - you guessed it - itching and irritation.
Give your skin as many opportunities to be pollutant free by dabbing your face frequently with cool water and avoiding any cosmetics or beauty products not directly recommended by your doctor. You'll have plenty of time to gussy up and look gorgeous for the rest of your life; give your skin the time it needs now to heal and become itch free.
If your itching skin after chemical peel becomes too much to bear. Doctors can often recommend a topical ointment or oral prescription medication you can use to find comfort.
Chemical peels can be a great alternative to major plastic surgery and people are more often than not pleased with the results. Get prepared for the unavoidable itch, but also for the great fresh start at beauty at the same time!