How do chemical peels work?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Chemical peels speed up the natural exfoliating process in which outer layers of your skin’s cells are sloughed off. Various types of acids are used to help break the chemical bonds between skin cells. In this way the peels also accelerate the production of new cells as the skin heals and the cells below are stimulated to renew themselves. The result is a fresher, smoother and more youthful appearance.
Anne M. Chapas, MD

Chemical peels remove the top layer of skin, allowing new healthier skin to shine through. In this video, Oz guest Anne Chapas, M.D., shares some need-to-know info about chemical peels.

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

Chemical peels act to remove debris from the outer epidermis and may regenerate collagen formation in the superficial dermis. The peels have varying degrees of depth penetration. The lighter peels (glycolic acids) act primarily on the epidermal layer while the deeper peel (phenol) penetrate deep into the papillary level of the dermis increasing collagen formation from fibroblastic cells. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Chemical peels are often used to treat scars, pigmentation, and photodamage on the skin's surface. Chemical peels help to minimize the signs of skin damage by sloughing away the superficial surface layers of the epidermis, stimulating the healing process and the generation of fresh, new cell layers. This new cell generation leads to a rejuvenated skin appearance. Salicylic acid, lactic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acid are common agents in chemical peels.

Continue Learning about Chemical Peels

Why may I need a chemical peel?
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Chemical peels include: glycolic acids, TCA, and deep phenol peels. These are exfoliation agents tha...
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Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are the "long weekend peels." TCA peels require extensive prepa...
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What should I think about if I have a chemical peel?
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The indications for chemical peels include: acne, pigmentation problems, aesthetic purposes, and epi...
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How Do Chemical Peels Work?
How Do Chemical Peels Work?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.