Chemical Peels and Your Skin
Chemical peels are typically used to restore a youthful, vibrant appearance to wrinkly, blotchy, sun-damaged skin. There are three main types of chemical face peels, and each has unique benefits for the skin. The light chemical peel improves acne scars and skin texture, and reduces the effects of sun damage. The medium chemical peel improves acne as well. The medium peel also smoothes fine surface wrinkles, and corrects pigment problems such as age spots. The deep chemical peel helps treat sun-damaged skin, eliminates deep, coarse wrinkles, and can remove pre-cancerous growths.
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. Also, it should be a physical sunscreen and be above SPF 30. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear a wide-brimmed hat.