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.
After a chemical peel, skin is temporarily more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen every day. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear a wide-brimmed hat. 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).