Chemical peels have been used to enhance skin texture, skin tone, decrease skin pigmentation as well as remove some fine lines.
Chemical peeling is the application of an acid (at an appropriate concentration) to cause a controlled wounding of the skin. This results usually in the removal or peeling of the first few layers of the superficial skin as well as causing some changes deeper down in the collagen. The agents that have been used for peeling in Asian populations (for the anti-aging effect) include glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), etc.; and combinations of these same acids.
The complications that have been associated with peels include stinging, redness, minor “burns” causing transient pigment changes and more rarely scarring (but only with the stronger TCA peels).
Chemical peels have its place for those who want some texture change and lightening of pigmentation without spending too much money, or losing too much “down time” (ie. time away from work or social activities because of an unacceptable appearance after the procedure). It is also convenient since it can be done on a monthly basis and takes only 5 to 20 minutes to complete.