Chemical peels are used to improve the quality of the skin on the face, neck, and hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, which then causes the old skin to peel off, revealing smoother, newer skin below. Chemical peels are often used to reduce skin discoloration or sun damage, and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths. The most gentle peels use glycol, alpha-hydroxy, lactic or fruit acids and may cause redness, stinging and slight irritation. Stronger peels such as those that contain trichloroacetic acids are used to remove wrinkles and areas with deeper pigmentation. Redness, swelling and irritation are common after these peels, and your doctor may prescribe other medication to help relieve these side effects.