How to Reduce Redness After a Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are used to improve your skin's appearance and reduce fine lines, skin discoloration, dullness, acne scars and sun damage. They come in a variety of strengths, and the stronger peels penetrate deeper layers of skin. Redness can last from just a few hours to four weeks, depending on the strength of the peel. Although directions may vary according to your dermatologist, simple steps can reduce the amount of redness you experience.

Step 1

Keep your skin covered after a deep chemical peel. Your doctor may cover your skin with a special dressing or bandage, then advise you to buy additional bandages. After a deep peel, coverings are used to protect the skin from elements, such as dirt and the sun, and reduce redness. Remove the bandage when your doctor tells you that you can.

Step 2

Treat your skin carefully. The American Academy of Dermatology states that scratching or rubbing your skin, even if it burns or itches, can increase redness and cause scarring. Your skin will most likely be peeling, but don't poke at it or pick the flakes. Careful handling will reduce the amount and duration of redness.

Step 3

Keep your skin moist. If it gets too dry, it will become more red and crack, causing scars. Your doctor may prescribe a certain moisturizer to use. If so, follow the application directions carefully. If he has not prescribed or recommended a moisturizer, use a gentle face lotion with no harsh ingredients, such as alcohol. Apply the moisturizer three to four times a day as needed.

Step 4

Protect your sensitive skin from certain substances or temperatures. Avoid extreme temperatures or anything that could irritate your skin, such as spicy foods, until you have healed from your chemical peel. Also, avoid using makeup for about a week, or at least two weeks after a deep peel.

Step 5

Apply a cool compress to your skin when you are able to remove the bandages. Wet a washcloth and press it gently onto your skin to soothe your skin and reduce redness.

Things You'll Need

  • Bandages

  • Moisturizer

  • Cool compress


Diligently follow specific directions from your dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Use sunscreen regularly. Your skin will be more sensitive after a chemical peel and more susceptible to sun damage.


Notify your doctor if redness worsens.

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