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How should I prepare for a glycolic peel?

Neal B. Schultz, MD
Dermatology

The only preparation required for a glycolic peel is avoidance in the prior three days of electrolysis, waxing, sunburn, or anything else that can irritate the skin or cause the removal of excessive numbers of superficial skin cells. They shouldn't be performed if you have an active dermatitis (meaning inflamed skin, redness, blisters or any other visible rash). To prepare for at-home peels, prepare the skin with a skin-type appropriate cleanser and toner and allow to dry for a few moments before applying glycolic products. Before in-office glycolic peels, the nurse preps your skin with an appropriate cleanser and toner, probably a little stronger than what you'd usually use at home to ensure removal of any debris on the skin which could impede the effect of the glycolic since it's left on for a short period of time.

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Glycolic peels are the "lunch-hour peels." But they are not really peels -- true peeling would be considered a complication. During this procedure, the skin is prepared with two weeks of home glycolic acid products. No peel can be performed if the patient has used the drug Accutane or steroids in the past year. (Some people think the time frame should be two years.) Both drugs impair healing. Peels should be performed with great care, or not at all, on anyone with healing problems. Women who get herpes infections should take an antiviral from the day before the peel until the skin has healed. Severe scarring will result if a herpes outbreak occurs before the skin has healed.
Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

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Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? ...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.