Q: What is a Chemical Peel?
Dr. Kagan: Chemical Peels have been used for over 100 years to create an even and controlled shedding of damaged skin cells. Each year thousands of chemical peels are performed in the United States. A chemical peel uses a solution applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the production of new skin cells.
Q: What is it for?
Dr. Kagan: Chemical Peel reduces fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, treats wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors, improves the appearance of mild scarring, treats certain types of acne, reduces age spots, freckles and dark patches due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills (melasma), improves the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color.
Q: How Are Chemical Peels Performed?
Dr. Kagan: A chemical peel can be performed in Dr. Kagan’s office as an outpatient procedure. The skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils and the eyes and hair are protected. One or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid, are applied to small areas on the skin. These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, regenerated skin to appear.
Q: What are the results?
Dr. Kagan: Recovery time after a chemical peel depends on what kind of peel was done and how deep it was. With all types of peels, proper care of the skin after the peel is very important to speed healing, help results last longer, prevent infection, and avoid color changes in the treated area caused by sun exposure. After peeling has stopped, sunscreen should be used every day. New skin is more susceptible to sun damage.