Trying to perform a chemical peel on yourself is a sure way to turn a very safe procedure into a disfiguring one. Because chemical peels are safe and highly beneficial when performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon, and because they are a nonsurgical treatment, many people wonder if they can give themselves a chemical peel at home to save some money. The internet has made these chemicals available. When someone asks us for advice on how to give themselves a home chemical peel, our advice is always this: Don’t!
Yes, the facial chemical peel cost is higher if you have it done right by a doctor, but that’s before you consider the cost of damaging yourself. If you try to perform this procedure on yourself, you will likely permanently alter the coloration of your face by introducing irregularities, scars, and hypopigmentation. Further, you will not know how to care for your skin after the initial treatment without a doctor’s guidance in monitoring your healing. In the end, you will have to bear the emotional cost of your damaged appearance and the financial cost of finding the best doctor who can help you reverse some of the destruction you have caused. You wouldn’t do brain or heart surgery on yourself, right? How about facial surgery? That really is what is involved in doing your own chemical peel.
What can a doctor do that I can’t?
A chemical peel may seem deceptively simpler than it is. Those who are just learning about the procedure often mistake it is merely a matter of dipping the face in a beneficial substance and then washing it off. In truth, correctly performing a facial chemical peel takes a cosmetic surgeon years to master through education and first-hand chemical peel experience. A licensed and highly trained cosmetic surgeon can perform a chemical peel so well because he or she understands the following:
• The indications for a chemical peel treatment
• The different skintypes classified in the Fitzpatrick scale
• How each skintype responds to chemical peels
• What concentrations and combinations help each skintype
• How to give you enough treatment to see results
• How to not give you too much treatment, which will damage you
• How each type of problem respond to different treatments
• How to assess the condition of your skin
• Factors like skin thickness, sensitivity, sun damage
• How your medical history effects your current treatment needs
• Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel
• Who is not a good candidate for a chemical peel
• What to do in the rare incidence in complications
• Post chemical peel treatment and how to follow up with care for your skin during and after the healing process
• How to apply the chemical peeling agents differently to each facial area depending on the needs of the skin in each area
• The powers and limits of each type of chemical peel
This is not something that any instruction manual can give you. This is not something you can learn without training in biology, anatomy, medicine, and chemistry and many years of clinical experience. This is not something you can learn without being mentored over a year or more. This is not something you can “pick up” this weekend with a kit you ordered on the internet. Most importantly, chemical peels are not a do-it-yourself activity.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatments like the chemical peel is the fact that there are those who think that because it is so safe in a doctor’s office, it is something they can do at home in the kitchen. Individuals trying to save a few bucks by treating themselves may be surprised and upset to see their experiment go so horribly wrong, but these poor at-home results don’t surprise a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in chemical peels and understands their complexity. It is true that chemical peels are very safe, but only when performed in a medical setting by a qualified, experienced cosmetic physician who specializes in chemical peels.
Think of it this way: If you broke your leg, would you try to make a cast for yourself at home? Of course not! Doctors treat broken bones in emergency rooms everyday and consider this a safe, important procedure, but you would never dream of doing this to yourself. Similarly, there is a lot more to the art of a chemical peel than you may imagine.
Finding the Best, Safe Treatment
Dr. Steinsapir specializes in individualizing each chemical peel to a patient’s unique facial needs. He will answer your questions and develop a safe, effective treatment plan based on your individual goals. Call us today to find out how a chemical peel performed safely on an outpatient basis can help you.