What are chemical peels?

This procedure destroys parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its place. 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 around the eyes and 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

A chemical solution, called an exfoliating agent, is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. The skin will "blister" and eventually peel off. There are three depth levels of peels—superficial, medium and deep. The acid concentration in the peeling agent, the number of coats that are applied, and the amount of time allowed before the acid is neutralized determine the depth of the peel.


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Many people think of plastic surgery as purely cosmetic, but there’s a lot more to this surgical specialty. Plastic surgeons often do reconstructive procedures that can rebuild body parts after an injury or illness.