Are “At-Home” Chemical Peels Safe?

“At-home” kits are popular for everything from gel manicures to chemical peels.  And they are easier than ever to obtain; a search on Amazon reveals numerous options for at-home chemical peels.  But are they a safe option?

search results on for "chemical peel"

search results on for “chemical peel”

Because these kits are intended for home use, there is generally a very wide safety margin, assuming you follow the instructions of the peel.  But the trade-off for increased safety is decreased effectiveness, at least in the example of chemical peels.  Chemical peels work by damaging the outer layer of skin; the deeper the damage, the more dramatic the result.  So although a home chemical peel is likely to be very safe, it will also result in minimal improvement.

Medical-grade chemical peels are administered in a physician’s office, and thus are stronger and more effective than the over-the-counter version.  In addition, I always recommend a skin care evaluation, which many offices offer for free.  You may be using a chemical peel to treat a problem for which there is a more-effective treatment.  One great example of this is hyperpigmentation; although chemical peels will very gradually improve pigmentation, a BBL laser treatment is much more effective.


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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

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