Can I Get a Chemical Peel While Breastfeeding?
Chemical peels are a popular cosmetic dermatological procedure used to treat various skin conditions and improve the quality of the skin. Done in multiple levels and with different acids, they can be part of a regular skincare routine, including facials and other skin procedures. If you are currently breastfeeding or are pregnant and will soon be breastfeeding, you may have questions regarding the safety of chemical peels while breastfeeding.
Below, we will discuss what chemical peels are, their benefits, the issues they can treat, their safety while lactating, and the risks you should be aware of.
What Are Chemical Peels?
A chemical peel is a procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers of the skin. The result is skin that grows back smoother. The procedure may be done more than once with light or medium peels to get the desired results.
Chemical peels commonly treat wrinkles, discolored skin, and scars, usually on the face, although peels can be applied to different body parts. Done at different depths, deeper chemical peels can offer more dramatic results but have a more extended recovery period.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
During the chemical peel process, the chemicals applied to the skin cause a reaction and dissolve the outer layers of dead skin. This helps even the skin tone and texture and also promotes the building of collagen. The treatment causes a minor injury to the skin, building new collagen and regenerating itself, essentially making new, fresh skin.
Chemical Peels Benefits
There are many benefits to chemical peels. The procedure can improve several skin issues, including:
- Acne scars
- Aging skin
- Precancerous growths
If you generally have healthy skin, mild scarring, superficial wrinkles, and a lighter complexion, then you may be a good candidate for a chemical peel.
Chemical Peels and Breastfeeding
A 2017 review of the safety of cosmetic procedures during pregnancy and lactation in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology has shown that most chemical peels while breastfeeding are a safe procedure to have done, but this is a bit dependent on the kind of acid used. Both glycolic acid and lactic acid peels are deemed most likely safe to use due to the limited dermal penetration. Still, peels containing salicylic acid should be used with caution due to the higher absorption rates. In general, it is considered safe to have chemical peels while breastfeeding.
Can I Get A Chemical Peel While Breastfeeding?
Before having any medical or cosmetic procedure done, it is always best to check with your doctor to ensure you do not have any contraindications that could cause issues while breastfeeding. In general, most chemical peels are considered safe to have done while breastfeeding. It has been summarized that most cosmetic procedures such as chemical peeling are safe to use during lactation because there is less concern for significant absorption of any of the chemicals used in these procedures.
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Chemical Peel Recovery Time
The recovery time for a chemical peel varies based on an individual’s unique skin and how deep of a peel is done. As your skin heals from a chemical peel, you may need to apply a protective ointment. You will also need to wear sunscreen to protect your healing skin from the sun. The typical recovery time for different strengths of chemical peel are:
- Light chemical peel – 1 to 7 days for the skin to fully heal.
- Medium chemical peel – 7 to 14 days for the skin to fully recover.
- Deep chemical peel – Swelling can last for 14 days. Redness may last for up to three months.
While recovering from a peel, you may need to slightly alter your skincare routine, avoid wearing makeup and, in some cases, wear a surgical dressing or take medication for pain.
Chemical Peels For Face
The face is the body area where chemical peels are most commonly performed to improve the skin’s appearance. A chemical solution is applied to the face to remove layers of skin, revealing the more youthful skin underneath. Chemical peels can reduce or improve fine lines and wrinkles, scars, acne, uneven skin coloring, and many other skin imperfections. Different chemicals will be used for various issues, and your skin’s sensitivity is evaluated to determine the depth of your peel.
Chemical Peels On Legs
Becoming increasingly popular, chemical peels for legs can have many benefits, including treating issues like sun damage, freckling, and chicken skin. Some other advantages include:
- Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the legs.
- Minimizing the appearance of mild scars.
- Help tightening the skin of the legs.
- Scraping off dead skin layers from knees.
The skin on the legs is far less sensitive than the face, so even those who cannot handle facial chemical peels may get peels done on their legs.
Chemical Peels For Acne Scars
Chemical peels can contain different acids that are effective for various issues. One of the most effective for acne scars is mandelic acid, which can also treat large pores. This acid comes from bitter almonds and is best for large pores and acne scars as this skin type can be susceptible to acids and chemicals on the skin.
Chemical Peels For Dark Spots
Chemical peels can be used to lighten dark spots. For lightening dark spots, chemical agents enable the removal of the skin pigment melanin. The type of peel, its concentration, how many coats, and the duration of the application are the main factors that influence how effective the treatment is. Superficial peels that are most frequently used to lighten dark spots are:
- Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acid)
- Beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid)
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
A glycolic acid (GA) is the most commonly performed alpha-hydroxy acid peel.
Chemical Peels For Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is the technical term for “dark spots,” darker skin patches than your normal skin tone. This is caused by the clustering of excess melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. The three primary causes of hyperpigmentation are sun exposure, inflammation, and hormonal changes. A chemical peel for hyperpigmentation works by removing top layers of skin, allowing healthy new skin to form in its place. When the new skin forms, it should be more evenly pigmented.
Chemical Peels Melasma
Chemical peels can be a beneficial dermatological procedure for an individual suffering from melasma. A 2017 study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology found that although topical therapy is the cornerstone of the treatment of melasma, chemical peels can bring about excellent cosmetic improvement as a secondary treatment or as maintenance therapy.
Chemical Peels Price
The prices for a chemical peel vary widely. This is determined by the type of peel, where you live, and many times the experience of the professional performing the procedures. Typically they can range from $100-$6,000. The type of peel, its general costs, and overview of what it achieves include:
- Light – $100-$300 – Brightens skin tone
- Medium – $1,000-$3,000 – Reduces acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines
- Deep – $2,500-$6,000 – Treats deep wrinkles and sun damage
More expensive peels typically provide superior results. That does not mean that deeper peels are the best choice for every individual. A light peel may work for your skin’s needs, especially if you don’t have significant sun damage or aging.
Chemical Peels vs. Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skin treatment that removes dead skin from the outer layers of the skin. Essentially it is a deep exfoliation done by a professional. It is pain-free, requires no recovery time post-treatment, and is safe. Microdermabrasion can be used to treat:
- Dry skin
- Fine lines
- Uneven pigmentation
- Clogged pores
- Minor scars
- Skin texture problems
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can be done together to cleanse and improve the skin thoroughly. By combining the two treatments in one procedure, you can reduce the side effects and maximize results without a lengthy recovery.
Chemical Peels Risks
As with any medical procedure you have done, there are risks associated with chemical peels. These can include:
- Redness, swelling, and scabbing
- Changes in skin color
- Heart, liver, or kidney damage.
To avoid serious risks or complications, choose a doctor with knowledge of your skin and experience with the procedure. Results of a chemical peel can vary based on the expertise of the dermatologist or aesthetician.
Hopefully, the above information on chemical peels and the safety of chemical peels while breastfeeding has given you a better sense of if this procedure is correct for you. There are many benefits to chemical peels, and it may be an excellent treatment to add to a facial or other skincare procedure you have done. It is essential to take time for yourself and do the things that make you feel great as a new mama! If you have any questions or concerns that were not answered, it is always a good idea to reach out to your physician to get their professional advice on any procedure you would like to have done while lactating.