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How Long Does a Chemical Peel Take to Heal?

Following a chemical peel procedure, you may notice the skin on the affected area peeling and becoming irritated. This will most likely happen between two and three days after your procedure, and is a natural part of the healing process.

The experts at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors have explained what you can expect following a chemical peel and how to best take care of yourself during the healing period. If you are concerned about your procedure and believe something has gone wrong, get in touch or visit our Chemical Peels page to learn more about how we can help you.

Why does the skin peel following a chemical peel?

During the chemical peel procedure, a compound of acid is gently added to the target area of the skin. The type of acid solution used depends on the intensity of the peel, and each will react with fewer or deeper layers of skin, with the goal of separating them and ultimately removing them. The peeling of the skin is due to these layers being stripped away and is a sign of a successful procedure.

What is the healing process following a chemical peel?

It typically takes up to two weeks to heal after a medium-strength chemical peel, but the skin may still feel tight and red for several months after. For lower and higher-intensity peels, the process can take less or more time - your surgeon (esthetician or dermatologist) should give you an estimate of this.

As well as peeling skin, you can expect to experience tightness, pain, slight darkening and some blotchiness in the affected area. You should avoid doing anything that may aggravate or damage it further. This includes:

  • Any exercise that may strain the area, such as running, stretching or heavy lifting.

  • Submerging the affected area in water. Instead, take showers and allow the water to drain onto the wound, but do not point the shower directly at it.

  • Sleeping on the affected area. You should prop yourself up in bed to avoid this.

  • Exposing the affected area to harsh sunlight. You should limit doing this even after it has healed and make sure to use lots of suncream.

Failure to comply with this advice could lead your skin to heal incorrectly or become infected. This will have the opposite effect of the cosmetic surgery and may require you to go through a corrective procedure. You will know this has happened if the symptoms do not subside within the estimated healing period, or are more severe than they were made out to be. For example, it may be that your skin is extremely sore and painful, limiting your movement considerably in that area, and has been so for three weeks following a light chemical peel.

What should I do if I think something has gone wrong?

Issues with cosmetic surgery can result by accident and for a number of reasons. If you are concerned that your healing process has not gone well, you should speak to your surgeon or contact your GP immediately.

However, if you believe that the reason your cosmetic surgery procedure went wrong is due to the actions of your surgeon, you should consider making a cosmetic surgery compensation claim. You should also avoid seeking further help from your surgeon and instead go to a different, independent medical practitioner.

After you have sought medical help, you should contact a professional cosmetic surgery solicitor. The team at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors will assess your situation and offer advice on how best to proceed. If you choose to make a cosmetic surgery claim with us, we will guide you through the entire process.

To make a successful cosmetic surgery claim, you must prove that your surgeon acted with negligence. All medical practitioners owe their patients a duty of care. This states that they must perform their service to a standard that does not cause further harm to their patient, in line with regulations set by the government. If they do not do this, they will have acted negligently.

Medical negligence describes both substandard actions as well as inaction. For more information about what constitutes as medical and clinical negligence, speak to our team today.

It is important that you make a claim for compensation as this will help you to seek any corrective surgery and support that you require due to the chemical peel gone wrong. It will also help you to recover any lost wages that you have suffered due to being unable to work. Learn more about how cosmetic surgery compensation is calculated.

Get in touch now

For advice on whether you may be eligible to claim cosmetic surgery compensation, speak to the chemical peel experts at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors today. Call us on 0808 189 7704, or fill out an online contact form and we will arrange a time to call you back.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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