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Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off.[1] The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Thus the term chemical peel is derived.

Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license, however people are advised to seek professional help from a dermatologist, esthetician, plastic surgeon, or otolaryngologist on a specific type of chemical peel before a procedure is performed.

Chemical peels can improve the skin's appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it "blister" and eventually peel off. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, or hands. They can be used to:


  • Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth

  • Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging

  • Improve the appearance of mild scars

  • Treat certain types of acne

  • Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills

  • Improve the look and feel of skin


Areas of sun damage may improve after chemical peeling.

After a chemical peel, skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen every day. It should say "broad-spectrum" on the label, meaning it protects against the sun's UVA and UVB rays.


Who Is a Good Candidate For a Chemical Peel?


Generally, fair-skinned and light-haired patients are better candidates for chemical peels. If you have darker skin, you may also have good results, depending upon the type of problem being treated. But you also may be more likely to have an uneven skin tone after the procedure.

Skin sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels. They may need other kinds of cosmetic surgical procedures, such as laser resurfacing, a facelift, brow lift, eyelid lift, or soft tissue filler (collagen or fat). A dermatologic surgeon can help determine the most appropriate type of treatment for you.