A chemical peel for the face is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove damaged skin cells, treat wrinkles, and correct scars and sunspot discolorations.

Chemical skin peels contains different types of acids that have varying depths of skin penetration. There are many options depending on your needs and how sensitive your skin is.

After choosing a reputable plastic surgeon or dermatologist, the first step is to schedule a pre-procedure consultation to discuss your reasons for wanting a chemical peel and the expectations of treatment. Your health history and medications will be reviewed to ensure you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Next, a physical exam of the skin is performed to assess skin thickness, health, and condition. Photographs may be taken to document the pre-procedure skin condition.

During the 2-4 weeks before your scheduled chemical peel, there are a set of preparation activities performed to optimize the efficacy of treatment, called "priming." UV exposure should be limited, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ should be applied every morning. Certain creams containing tretinoin, hydroquinone, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid may be prescribed.

The goal of these activities and recommendations is to thin the top layer of the skin, enhance penetration of the chemical peel, accelerate healing and reduce the risk of complications such as hyperpigmentation and scarring.