Mon - Thu: 8:30am - 7pm
Fri: 8:30am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 3pm

0115 962 4535

Nottingham, NG3 5BW

Frequently Asked Questions:Skin Resurfacing

We've put together some commonly requested information regarding Skin Resurfacing.

Skin Resurfacing

When will I see the full effects of Dermabrasion?

The results of Dermabrasion will be visible once the scab has fallen away to reveal the healed skin underneath. The overall appearance of the skin will continue to improve over the first few weeks, however some redness may still be visible for a couple of months.

When will I see the full effects of a Chemical Peel?

The results of a Chemical Peel will be visible once the peeling process has finished, and the colour and overall appearance of the skin will continue to improve over the first few weeks.

How soon can I exercise following a Skin Resurfacing procedure?

Strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first 3-4 days following the procedure, and slightly longer for deep peels.

Can I drive following a Skin Resurfacing procedure?

Driving should be avoided immediately after the procedure, however, patients can usually drive after a few hours or the following day.

Patients should avoid driving until they are completely free of pain and restriction, and be able to confidently perform an emergency stop. This is to ensure that they will be covered by their car insurance policy.

How does a Skin Resurfacing procedure cost?

Obagi Chemical Peel: £750 – £1200 depending on the area treated.

Dermabrasion: £1,760 – £2,925 depending on the area treated.

Pre-treatment: £150 – £350.

Is there anything I can do post treatment to assist healing?

It is essential that you avoid direct or indirect exposure to the sun following treatment, and at all times until the redness of the skin has subsided. Wearing a wide brimmed hat and a good quality sunblock.

If you have had treatment around the eye area, it is advisable to wear sunglasses when outside.

What are the potential complications with Skin Resurfacing?

Skin Resurfacing is a routine procedure that is highly successful for the vast majority of patients. However, as with any procedure, it is very important you understand what can go wrong as well as right. The potential complications are listed below, most of which would only occur if the product used was too strong.

Pigment Problems

Although it is relatively uncommon, any resurfacing method can alter the pigment in the skin. This usually results in reduced pigmentation, but there is occasionally the risk of increased pigmentation. The risk of this occurring is greatly reduced by using creams containing active ingredients for 6 weeks leading up to the treatment.

Healing Problems

This can occur if the Chemical Peel is too deep and could potentially result in scarring. However, with Stephen McCulley’s technique this is extremely rare due to the amount (15-20% of Tri-chloracetic Acid) that is used in the procedure.


Most redness fades after a few weeks, although occasionally it can be visible for slightly longer.

How is a Chemical Peel procedure performed?

When applied to the skin, the acid in the Chemical Peel essentially damages the top layer of skin, which then peels away itself after a few days.

The advantage of this particular type of treatment is that the face remains ‘dry’ during healing as it does not leave a raw surface to heal.

The deeper the layer of skin removed means a greater chance of a better result, however this also increases the chance of side effects (see below).

What is a Chemical Peel

A Chemical Peel is a technique where a chemical solution is applied to the face. This solution removes the surface layers of the skin to effectively treat most of the skin conditions described above. Stephen McCullay uses the Obagi System which is made up of 15-20% of Tri-chloracetic Acid, this is a very safe technique and the most common type of resurfacing procedure.

Why would I choose to have Skin Resurfacing?

There are several reasons why a patient would choose to undergo Skin Resurfacing. Including:

As an anti-ageing procedure to treat:

  • Vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
  • ‘Crow’s feet’ around the eyes.
  • Skin laxity around the lower eyelids.
  • Fine wrinkling around the upper eyelids

As a restorative procedure to treat:

  • Sun-damaged skin.
  • Blemishes or blotchy skin coloring.
  • Precancerous skin growths.
  • Acne or chicken pox scars.
  • Facial scars from an old injury.

What is Skin Resurfacing?

Skin Resurfacing is a cosmetic surgery treatment that involves removing the top layers of skin on the face, neck, chest and hands. This then allows fresh, new skin to emerge, which appears clearer and healthier than before.

The two main methods of Skin Resurfacing that we carry out here at Stephen McCulley are:

  • Chemical Peels.
  • Dermabrasion

How long is the recovery period following Dermabrasion?

The healing process for dermabrasion is slightly different from a Chemical peel. Instead of peeling away, the skin that has been treated will form a scab, which will then fall away once the skin underneath has healed. The time this takes will vary from patient to patient, however as a rough guide, patients should expect this to take a couple of weeks.

Skin will then remain quite reddened for a period of time, from several weeks, to several months. It is usually fine to use camouflage make up during this recovery time, however it is important to take medical advice before putting any products on the treated areas of skin.

What is Dermabrasion and how is it performed?

Rather than using a chemical treatment, Dermabrasion involves using a device to gently buff away the top layer of the skin. The device is small in size and has a spinning ‘head’ that is covered in a material similar to a very fine grade sandpaper.

Unlike a Chemical Peel, Dermabrasion is an operation and is therefore carried out in hospital, under local or general anaesthetic. Depending on the individual, it is generally used to treat acne scars.

How long will I be off work following a Chemical Peel?

The recovery time will be dependent on the intensity of the peel, very little time will be needed for a light peel, however a very deep peel may take up to a fortnight to recover. There will be very little physical restriction after a peel, however, for cosmetic reasons, patients may with to be out of the work environment until they have made a full recovery.

How long is the recovery time following a Chemical peel?

Following a Chemical Peel, the area that has been treated will be a little red and swollen for the first few days. For mild wrinkles a light peel will be used and therefore the patient can expect 3-4 days of peeling, compared to a deep peel that may last up to 14 days.

I am a smoker, how will this affect the procedure?

Smoking can increase the chance of complications during surgery, so it is advisable to try to stop, or at least radically cut down around the time of the procedure.

Can I take any medication around the time of surgery?

During your consultation a full medical history will be taken, and you can discuss any medication that you are taking. As a precaution, do not take any over the counter medicines or herbal remedies prior to surgery or for 3 days following.

Also avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and Voltarol based tablets. It is always useful for patients to bring a list of any prescribed medications to the pre-op assessment.

How can I prepare for a Skin Resurfacing procedure?

Before having treatment it is important to prepare the skin and make sure it is the best possible condition. Stephen McCulley advises patients to start using certain creams including active ingredients (including Retin A and Hydroquinone) six weeks prior to treatment.

This will enable the skin to increase its healing power and reduce the changes on the pigment cells in the skin. Patients usually notice a significant improvement on the skin before treatment.

How long will I be off work following Dermabrasion?

Similarly to a Chemical Peel, you will not experience any physical restrictions following the procedure, however you may want to take time away from work for cosmetic reasons whilst the skin heals. Once the scabs have come off, generally after two weeks, most patients feel ready to return to work.

Answers provided by Mr Stephen McCulley and his expert team. You can see further helpful information in our Resource Centre or in our Ask Our Specialist Nurse section.

Stephen McCulley offers a wide range of cosmetic breast surgery procedures including breast enlargement, breast reduction, inverted nipple surgery, correcting impact problems and more!

FAQ Categories