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How Long Does It Take a Chemical Peel to Heal?



How long it takes a chemical peel to heal depends on the type of chemical peel.

More Info: Chemical peels are categorized into three subgroups, which is used depends on the severity of the skin issue.  The stronger the chemical used in the procedure, the deeper the peel, and subsequently the longer the healing time.

Glycolic Acid Peel

In a superficial chemical peel a combination of mild acids are used such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid.  The acid works to remove only the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin, to reveal fresher skin beneath.

Following the procedure, the skin will peel subtly and will turn pink.  The redness generally subsides within a few days.

Average Healing Time: A few days

Trichloroacetic Acid Peel (TCA)

The TCA peel causes a second degree burn on the epidermis and upper portion of the dermis, which means it will take longer to heal than a superficial peel.

Following the procedure the skin will begin to crust and peel in the first 2-3 days.  It may take up to 5-7 days to heal but some redness will likely remain.

Average Healing Time: 5-7 days

Phenol Peel

The Phenol or deep peel is the most aggressive, the most painful, but achieves the most dramatic results.  In this procedure the chemical works to penetrate the skin all the way to the lower dermal layer of the skin.

Following the procedure the skin can take up to two weeks to regenerate.  As the phenol peel causes the skin to become wounded, complete skin healing can take several months during which time the skin may be extremely red, swollen, and crusty.

Average Healing Time: 3 weeks to 2 months



“Chemical peel.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <>.

“Medscape: Medscape Access.” Medscape: Medscape Access. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <>.

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