Updated April 28, 2014.
Procedural treatment consisting of the application of a chemical agent designed to rapidly exfoliate, or “peel,” the skin. The most common agents used for chemical peels include: glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and carbolic acid (phenol). Chemical peels range in strength from light to deep, depending on the agent used and how long it is left on the skin. The strength of the peel performed is dependent on skin condition and desired results.
Chemical peels are used to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, skin discoloration, mild acne scars, and some forms of acne.