Plastic Surgery Interactive / are Online Community Services Of Orange County California Plastic Surgeon John Di Saia MD

Post-Peel Care for John Di Saia MD's Patients

First and foremost, this section is for my patients only. I do not recommend it be used for pre or post-peel instruction for the patients of any other physician. Talk to your doctor about his/her preferred post-peel care.

For Light Chemical Peels

-Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic and Light TCA-

These peels cause partial to complete loss of the epidermis (superficial layer of the skin) depending upon the strength and time / method of application. The deeper dermis is only minimally affected in most cases.


- Stop Retin A 3-4 days before the peel.
- Stop Self-Tanners 1-2 weeks before the peel.
- Stop the use of coarse abrasives (Loofah, etc) 3-4 days before the peel.


Expect flaking (lighter peels) to thin sheets (deeper peels) of skin to come off in the first 2-4 days. The underlying tissue may turn slightly darker or redder than the adjoining skin. Some areas will peel more than others. The skin will be "hungry" for moisture as it heals over the first week or so. Apply liberal amounts of a water-based moisturizer without glycolic, salicyclic or lactic acid for this period. The skin should always be moist as if you just stepped out of the shower. At night, you can use small amounts of a petroleum-based moisturizer (such as Aquaphor or Vaseline). These more intensive moisturizers can also be used when the skin feels too dry with the water-based formulations. Be careful to not use too much as it can plug pores and cause acne. Stay out of the sun. During the day, try to use a moisturizer with SPF 15 or better sunscreen in it. These may sting a bit when first applied as the sunscreen may tingle on the skin. Stop these products if the stinging doesn't fade after a few minutes. Call the office if a rash develops with any skin care products. Showers are OK from the day after these peels. Just let the water run over your face and pat yourself dry. You may use a mild cleanser again without acid content. After a few days, a light acid content (less than 2%) is generally OK. No scrubbing. Then apply the moisturizer after you have dried off. Retin A can be used after the skin has healed completely after the peel (usually in 1-2 weeks).



© John Di Saia, MD... an Orange County California Plastic Surgeon       Dr John Di Saia, an orange county california plastic surgeon

(949) 369-5932