Chemical peel: How to prepare for your appointment

The American Academy of Dermatology makes the following recommendations to consider before undergoing a chemical peel. Especially medium to deep chemical peels or if you are concerned about who going to be performing the peel.

To protect your health and find out what results you want, a dermatologist always offers a consultation before performing a chemical peel. To help you get the most benefit from this consultation, dermatologists recommends that you: 
  •  Ask questions.
  • Gather important information before your consultation.
This page tells you what to ask and what information to gather. 

 Questions to ask before getting a chemical peel 

You should ask the following questions before getting a chemical peel:
  • Will a board-certified dermatologist perform the chemical peel?
  • How many chemical peels has the doctor performed on people with my skin coloring?
  • What will I need to do before and after the peel to get the best results?
  • What results can I expect?
  • What are the potential side effects?
  • Do I have a higher risk for any complications?
  • Will I have downtime?
  • May I see before-and-after photos or speak with patients you treated with a chemical peel?
  • How much will the treatment cost?
During the consultation, your dermatologist also can tell you whether another treatment would be a better option for you. You may find that your dermatologist recommends using more than one treatment. Results from many research studies show that combining treatments can lead to better, longer-lasting results.


Tip:
Be sure to bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with you on the day
of your peel. You’ll want to put these on before you leave the office.
Having a chemical peel makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
 

Information to tell your dermatologist before getting a chemical peel

Before you get a chemical peel, be sure to tell your dermatologist the following information:
  • If you are taking or have ever taken isotretinoin, a medicine prescribed for severe acne. 
  • All other medicines you take — or have recently taken. Be sure your dermatologist knows about antibiotics, acne medicines, and medicines that you buy without a prescription, such as aspirin. 
  • If you frequently get cold sores or have had cold sores in the past.
  • If your skin scars easily.
  • All herbs, vitamins, and minerals you take. Even if you haven’t taken these for a while, be sure to mention them. 
  • All surgeries and cosmetic treatments you have had. While some patients feel embarrassed talking about this, the information you share can make a difference in the results you see. Don’t omit anything — even if it seems unimportant.
If you are considering any cosmetic treatment, be sure to watch this AAD video: Who should be providing your cosmetic treatment?

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