DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Are wrinkle treatments like dermabrasion and chemical peels safe? Do they actually work?
ANSWER: Chemical peels and dermabrasion work by removing layers of skin. The skin that grows back is often smoother, with fewer wrinkles and less discoloration. Chemical peels and dermabrasion can cause side effects. In general, however, when performed by experienced and knowledgeable providers, they are safe.
Your skin has three layers. The outer coating is the epidermis. Its main purpose is to serve as waterproofing for your skin. On your face, this skin layer is very thin. The second layer, called the dermis, is thicker. The connective tissue and collagen that gives skin its strength is located in the dermis. The third and deepest layer of skin, known as the subcutaneous layer, contains fatty tissue, muscles and blood vessels.
Chemical peels involve putting acid on the skin. The goal is to cause a controlled first- or second-degree burn that makes the skin peel. When the old skin comes off, new tissue forms that is tighter and smoother.