Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a chemical peel on your face safe?"
I'm getting older and would like to do something about wrinkles and I have heard that people get chemical peels to help. Are they safe?
Chemical peels work, in theory, on wrinkles by stripping away the outer layers of skin, which stimulates the growth of new skin underneath, which can lead to improved skin tone and smoothing out of defects like acne scars and wrinkles. There are several different types of chemical peels. Superficial peels are often done by cosmetologists, whereas deeper peels are done by a dermatologist. Deeper peels are more effective, but they are also more painful and have 'down time' when you have to stay home while your skin heals. In addition to chemical peels, there are several other treatment options that are used these days for reducing the appearance of wrinkles. These include, famously, botulinum toxin (botox) injections, but also laser resurfacing techniques, which use the energy from a laser light to strip away upper layers of skin, and dermal micro abrasion, which uses a small mechanical tool to accomplish the same resurfacing. All of these techniques are performed by specialized dermatologists. Therefore, I would suggest that you start by setting up an office visit with your dermatologist. They will be able to discuss with you all of the options that are available to you and help you come up with a plan.
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