How much downtime is there after you get a chemical peel? Is it necessary to take time off from work?
The amount of downtime after a chemical peel depends on what type and depth of chemical peel you had. Superficial peels, such as a glycolic, salicylic acid, VI peel, and light TCA peel will not have significant downtime. Most patients that have a superficial peel will have a period of a few days with flaky and peeling skin, but can often still work and function normally. After a medium to deep chemical peel such as a high percentage TCA or a Phenol based peel, the downtime can be quite significant and require at least 10 days off from work. After a deep peel, there is usually significant swelling and raw areas of skin that requires full coverage with ointment or cream during that first week. After around 7-10 days the new healthy skin has regrown and makeup can be applied to cover residual redness. Most people are able to return to work after around 2 weeks of recovery. The redness soon fades to pink, which can sometimes last several months.
– Dr. Jessica Kulak