Lunchtime Peel: What It Can Do for You
Dermatologists have a variety of treatments to make your skin feel
better and look younger. One popular treatment is the lunchtime
This cosmetic procedure offers several
benefits. People really like that it can be performed on their lunch
hour and that they can return to work afterward. Another well-liked
benefit is that this peel can be performed as early as 25 to 30
years of age when the first signs of aging appear on the face. A
lunchtime peel can diminish fine lines, some skin discoloration, and
What a Lunchtime Peel Does
This cosmetic procedure, also called a superficial chemical peel
because it treats only the top layers of skin, produces new skin
that is more youthful looking. People see fewer lines and wrinkles
and a more even skin tone. The skin also feels smoother.
Who is Qualified to Perform Chemical
Dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons are uniquely qualified to
perform chemical peels. Their medical training gives them an
in-depth knowledge of the skin. The dermatologist should be
board-certified and have experience performing chemical peels.
What Qualifies a Patient for a
The first qualification is the desire to diminish early signs of
aging on the skin. If a lunchtime peel interests you, a consultation
with a dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon is necessary to
determine if a lunchtime chemical peel is right for you.
It is important to know that this
chemical peel is not appropriate for people who have:
Skin that tends to scar or discolor
after being injured
Had certain cosmetic procedures
Taken isotretinoin in the past 6
You also should be psychologically
prepared for a lunchtime peel. While this procedure only treats the
top layers of skin, it is still a medical procedure that requires a
willingness to follow post-procedure instructions. After the
procedure, you may need to apply medication and must avoid sun
exposure while the skin heals.
If all of this makes you a bit anxious,
be sure to ask if a "test spot" can be peeled first.
What Determines if a Lunchtime Peel
The dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon determines the degree of
skin damage by carefully examining the patient’s skin during the
consultation. How deeply the damage extends into the skin determines
if a lunchtime peel can appropriately treat the skin.
Can a Lunchtime Peel Be Performed on
All Skin Colors?
Yes. While a superficial chemical peel can safely treat any skin
color, pale white to white skin is most likely to show early signs
of aging. A lunchtime peel is best for treating this early skin
damage. A lunchtime peel also may be used to treat melasma, a skin
condition that causes patches of darker skin. Melasma primarily
affects women with darker skin.
What Time Commitment does a
Lunchtime Peel Require?
Only a few lunch hours are needed, which is why this cosmetic
procedure is also called a "lunchtime peel.” The entire procedure is
usually performed in less than an hour — and often less than 30
minutes — in a dermatologist’s office. You can leave immediately
after the procedure and resume normal daily activities. There are
some post-procedures instructions to follow such as applying
medication to the treated skin and avoiding sun exposure.
For optimal results, 3 to 5 peels may
be recommended. These are performed at regular intervals, which may
be once every 2 weeks, monthly, or less frequently.
What are the Side Effects of a
Skin redness and slight swelling for a day or two are common.
When a person with darker skin has a
lunchtime peel, it is important for that person to know that treated
skin may temporarily lose pigment after this procedure. This
temporary pigment loss can usually be disguised with makeup until
the normal skin color returns.
What are the Long-Term Benefits?
This peel is very effective in rejuvenating skin that has early
signs of aging — fine wrinkles, roughness, and some discoloration.
It may be possible to maintain the results from a lunchtime peel for
some time by avoiding sun exposure. Protecting your skin from the
sun also has the long-term benefit of reducing your overall risk of
getting skin cancer.
One long-term benefit of having a
dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon perform a lunchtime peel is
that you will become this doctor’s patient. The doctor can monitor
you for signs of aging including gravitational aging — the constant
pull of gravity on muscles under the skin. Gravitational aging
eventually causes crow’s feet, jowls, frown lines, and neck bands.
These can be safely and effectively treated with other cosmetic
Chemical Peeling (AAD pamphlet)
Cosmetic Procedures: Chemical
EL and Alster TS. “Skin Resurfacing: Ablative Lasers, Chemical
Peels, and Dermabrasion.” In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, Katz SI et
al, editors. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine.
7th edition. United States of America, McGraw Hill
Medical; 2008. p. 2369-70.
All content solely
developed by the American Academy of Dermatology