A chemical peel involves applying a solution of chemicals to the skin. People often use chemical peels to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and other skin blemishes.
Freckles are tiny light brown spots that appear on the skin. They often develop during childhood and begin to fade as the person ages.
They often become more apparent in the summer and less noticeable in the winter. Freckles can indicate that a person may be more susceptible to sunburn and sun damage. However, they do not in themselves pose any health risk.
Although some people may like the look of their freckles, others may wish to make them less noticeable. In such cases, a person with freckles could use a chemical peel to help reduce the appearance of their freckles.
Keep reading to learn more about how chemical peels can work on freckles.
A chemical peel is a procedure in which a plastic surgeon or dermatologist applies a chemical solution to the face or another area of skin. The skin can help with:
- reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles
- reduce sunspot discoloration
- lighten the appearance of scars
Peels contain different acids, each of which has a different strength. A doctor can make recommendations on what will work best for a person’s skin based on their skin and their reason for wanting the peel.
Freckles are a type of irregular skin pigmentation that occurs when melatonin produces localized changes in skin color.
chemical peels can help along with even out skin tone, meaning a person could use the procedure to remove or reduce the appearance of their freckles.
an older one 2012 study who compared two types of chemical peels found little difference in effectiveness between peels containing 70% trichloroacetic acid and those containing 80% phenol. The authors conclude that both peels can effectively reduce the appearance of freckles.
A more recent
Although there are few studies on the use of chemical peels to treat freckles, the existing research does not Remark the use of phenol or trichloroacetic acids. These acids are relatively strong and doctors consider them to represent deep skin.
These types of peels penetrate down to the lower skin layer. A person will likely need a local anesthetic and a sedative to help manage pain or discomfort.
However, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery notes that doctors often use a medium peel for freckles and discoloration. These peels also use trichloroacetic acid, but they tend to have faster recovery times because the chemical only penetrates the outer and middle layers of the skin.
A person should discuss with a doctor the best peel for them based on the location of the freckles, as well as other considerations.
A person’s doctor will likely recommend the use of a deep chemical peel. These types of peels often require up to 8 weeks pre-treatment with retinoic acid cream, which will help chemicals penetrate deeper into the skin. A person should stop using retinoic acid cream several days before their chemical peel.
Although the procedure may vary from clinic to clinic, a person can generally expect it to involve the following steps:
- The person will be given a sedative and a local anesthetic to numb the face.
- The dermatologist will brush off the acid then neutralize it with water
- The dermatologist will apply a thick layer of ointment and bandages if necessary.
The results of using chemical peels for freckles may vary, but studies showed some positive results.
A person can often return to work and many of their other usual activities in 2 weeks of the treatment. As they heal, a person can expect:
- redness or other discoloration of the skin
A person will also need to take care of their skin and follow all post-procedure instructions to help with recovery.
A doctor can sometimes prescribe pain medication to help the person manage their discomfort while recovering. Although most symptoms should disappear within 2 weeks, the skin discoloration can last for several months.
A person can expect results to last up to 10 years for most applications.
Chemical peels, especially moderate or deep peels, have some associated risks. Some Common Problems to understand:
- skin lightens too much
- extra sensitivity to light
- health risks for people living with heart disease
According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a chemical peel in the United States in 2020 was $519. Costs for chemical peels may vary due to cost differences associated with:
- the use of anesthesia
- prescription drugs associated with the skin
- the skill and experience of the surgeon
Insurance usually does not cover the cost of chemical peels. Insurers often consider elective chemical peel procedures.
Chemical peels can effectively remove or reduce the appearance of freckles, but they are not the only option for a person.
Cosmetic laser treatments can help reducing the appearance of freckles and other sun-related discolorations.
Some other potentially helpful treatments include:
- retinoid cream
- discolored creams
- use of sunscreen
- natural remedies, such as applying lemon juice
Anyone who is worried about their freckles and wants to get rid of them should talk to a doctor, who may be able to recommend an appropriate treatment.
Chemical peels can help remove or effectively reduce the appearance of freckles. Chemical peels are generally safe, but they can cause a variety of side effects, including pain, swelling, and skin discoloration.
A person can expect to recover in about 2 weeks and see lasting results.