Ask an Expert: Do Chemical Peels Reduce Wrinkles?
Do you ever feel like no matter how rigorously you use topical anti-aging products, your wrinkles never seem to fade as promised? We know the feeling, so, when we heard that chemical peels not only smooth out wrinkles, but can also improve skin's overall texture, we sought out expert advice.
“Yes, chemical peels are an effective tool for resurfacing skin, smoothing wrinkles and fine lines and improving skin's texture,” says West Palm Beach, FL, facial plastic surgeon Michael Schwartz, MD. But, according to New York dermatologist Adebola Dele-Michael, MD, not all peels work the same. “There are different types of peels: superficial, medium and deep. Medium and deep peels are more effective for wrinkle reduction.”
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Scottsdale, AZ, facial plastic surgeon Kelly Bomer, MD, cautions not to expect a full correction of wrinkles with any one treatment because the risk of scarring is high. “Skin is a delicate and complicated organ, and if injured too severely, it will scar and be changed negatively forever.”
To get the best results from chemical peels, Dr. Bomer strongly suggests skin be prepared properly with a prescription-strength skin care program for two weeks to one month prior to the treatment. “Then, peels should be performed every six to eight weeks over a series of months. This rejuvenation process is best if continued indefinitely in a like manner to maintaining clean teeth and gums or exercising our bodies to keep them fit,” she says. After six peels, you should expect to see improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation.
If chemical peels don’t sound like the kind of treatment you’re looking for, ask your board-certified doctor about lasers. Beverly Hills, CA, facial plastic surgeon David Nguyen, MD, says that while chemical peels are good for addressing the texture and tone of skin (thereby reducing wrinkles), he prefers using lasers to treat the same issue because they’re more precise. Littleton, CO, facial plastic surgeon Brent Smith, MD, agrees. “I feel like laser treatments are more predictable and offer the chance for the best results.”