How Often Can I Get Chemical Peels for Smoother Skin?

Oct 01, 2023
How Often Can I Get Chemical Peels for Smoother Skin?
You may love how chemical peels make your skin look and feel, but is there a limit to how many treatments your skin can handle? We’ve got all the answers to your top chemical peel questions here.

Chemical peels are one of our most requested services at Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta, and for good reason. They’re the Swiss Army knife of aesthetic treatments, addressing everything from fine lines and wrinkles to acne scarring and melasma, and doing it all in record time and without a single incision.

Many of our patients leave wanting more of what chemical peels have to offer — but is there a limit to how much your skin can handle?

The answer to that question varies from person to person (and peel to peel), so Dr. Kathleen J. Smith and our team of experts are here to walk you through how we space out your chemical peel treatments to keep your skin safe.

Covering the basics

To know how many chemical peels you can get and how often you can get them, you first need to understand how they affect your skin.

Chemical peels are a safe, well-tolerated procedure that involves using an FDA-approved chemical solution to exfoliate the outer layers of your skin and cause them to peel off. With damaged, tired skin cells out of the way, there’s a clear path for newer, younger-looking skin to emerge. 

We recommend chemical peels for a wide range of skin concerns that develop on your face, hands, and neck, including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Redness

There are three different types of chemical peels: light, medium, and deep.

Light or superficial peels use a milder solution to gently exfoliate only the outermost layers of your skin. Medium peels reach the middle layers of your skin, and deep peels go even further into the middle layers.

Light peels cause almost no pain during treatment, and medium peels are fairly gentle, so you shouldn’t feel anything more than some minor stinging or burning sensations. With deep peels, you may need to be sedated, and we treat your skin in sections to limit your skin’s exposure to the chemicals.

Recovery from light and medium peels takes around seven days, and side effects are limited to mild swelling, crusting, and blotching. If you opt for a deep peel, expect recovery to last around two weeks and side effects to be more severe — for example, it’s not uncommon for your eyelids to swell shut after a deep peel.

When can I get another chemical peel?

Chemical peels are so effective we understand if you’re chomping at the bit for more. But since chemicals are involved, we recommend sticking to a schedule that keeps your skin safe. Too many chemical peels in too little time can cause serious damage to your skin and reverse the results of your treatments.

You can usually enjoy a light peel every month, a medium peel every three to six months, and deep peels once every few years.

We can adjust your timeline based on your skin’s needs and how it responds to each treatment, but the bottom line is your skin must be fully healed before you get another peel.

In the meantime

Whether you have to wait a few days or a few years to get your next peel, we strongly encourage you to prioritize habits that keep your skin in tip-top shape and ready for another treatment.

For example, you may not be able to get a chemical peel if you have:

  • Sunburn
  • Eczema
  • Infection
  • Cuts or broken skin

So, it’s crucial that you protect your skin from the sun and address cuts and infections as soon as they develop. It’s also essential to follow all aftercare instructions. Typically, post-peel skin care includes:

  • Moisturizing daily
  • Washing your face with cool water
  • Avoiding exfoliating products
  • Using sunscreen daily
  • Limiting sweating

We walk you through exactly what to expect from your skin after your treatment, so you can get the best results and set your skin up for another successful chemical peel.

The bottom line

Chemical peels are fast-acting, long-lasting, and, if we’re honest, awe-inspiring. It’s not only possible to get more than one treatment — we actually encourage it in many cases. Based on your unique needs, we help you set a schedule that works best for you and your skin.

If you’re looking for more information about chemical peels, we’d love to talk with you and answer your questions. To schedule a consultation at our Decatur, Georgia office, call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool.