Chemical Peel for Spider Veins and Large Pores?

I am 45 and don't have much in the wrinkle department, thanks to genetics and hating to be in the sun. My biggest facial problems are large pores and a few spider veins on my cheeks. Would a Chemical Peel help? The only facial skin moisturizer I use is the Gold Bond Ultimate healing body lotion during the day and night I use the same lotion but use the new Gold Bond intense treatment on top. Works great and you can't beat the price. I just need a good exfoliator. Any suggestions? Some have just a simple washcloth.

Doctor Answers 10

IPL and microdermabrasion

There are risks associated with chemical peels so given your need for exfoliation, I would recommend microdermabrasion on a regular basis and for the spider veins and pores, IPL treatments can make a significant difference.  All with essentially no risk and no recovery. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Chemical peel for spider veins and pores

No chemical peels help spider veins.  Facial spider veins are best treated with laser or pulsed light therapy.

I recommend a series of light peels, microdermabrasion or pulsed light therapy to lessen the appearance of  enlarged pores.  An at home dermatologist recommended skin care program can be a helpful adjunct also.  

Robert Strimling, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Lessen appearance of pores, need laser or light for spider viens

So we have to remember that we are mammals and covered with hair follicles. When the edges of the follicles become prominent then the pores of our skin become more noticable. To treat this would be to slough the surface of the skin with either resurfacing laser techniques, chemical peels or topical tretinion, and to shrink the underlying nearby oil glands with a topical tretinoin cream. In your case it seems that a topical vitamin A cream, tretinoin or retinol, would be helpful in decreasing the appearance of the pores. The treatment of vessles/veins is performed best with lasers or light devices. The vessel is targeted and shrunk/destroyed in this method. Remember that these treatments are not perminent and the pores and vessels can recur as time progresses.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Chemical Peels are not the solutions for veins and large pores

Chemical Peels are not the answer for pores and veins, both are too deep and unresponsive to be effected by a peel, even a deep one. Topically applied retinoids such as Retin A, or tazorac, can improve skin texture and pores to some extent and vascular lasers work very well on enlarged veins. More invasive lasers like a fractionated CO2 laser (Activ Fx) improve both problems, but involve down time and can be expensive.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Facial spider veins and large pores

From my experience, chemical pees do not treat the spiders, and may make the pores wider. You would do well with vascular laser treatments, and perhaps Coblation or CO2 laser for the pores.

I think you can do better than Gold Bond, and a visit with to a skin care specialist. The products may be more expensive, but the benefits are worth it.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Pore size and spiders

Congratulations on having the wisdom to stay out of the sun. Not hard to do if you live in Washington State.

As for improving your pore size, I agree with Dr. Chen that there is little you can do to affect pore size itself. We hear this all the time, with pores almost seeming like they have the ability to expand and contract like the pupil of the eye. However, there is little in the dermatology literature suggesting it is that easy.

You can improve the appearance of pores however, with microdermabrasion, a regimen of chemical peels, exfoliation and the proper use of makeup. All these mechanisms are designed to remove the upper layer of the skin, and allow the pores to stay open, clean and less prominent.

As far as the spider veins chemical peels would not help and in fact might irritate the skin and cause it to produce more small blood vessels. Light sources such as the IPL or pulsed dye laser would be quite beneficial. If there is a background of erythema (redness), then IPL would be best. If a few small discrete spiders are weaving their way on your cheek, then the pulsed dye laser would be most helpful.

Also, do not forget about electrodessication. Used on a low current setting this is a cheap and effective method of eliminating small blood vessels.

As far as a good exfoliator, the Retinoids are the best with the alpha-hydroxy acids a reasonable alternative. Tazarac and Retin A, I feel, are the best exfoliators, but Retinol is a good choice since although not quite as effective ( it is an alcohol and has to be converted to the acid form to gain potency....Retin A, already is an acid and does not require such conversion) it is cheaper, milder and does not require a prescription.

There a ton of good alpha-hydroxy acid products out there, although I prefer Neo-Strata which is the grandfather of the alpha-hydroxy acids (begun by Eugene Van Scott, M.D., the dermatologist who discovered their utility).

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Spider veins and lasers

Chemical peels do not help spider veins. There are many lasers that can treat spider veins very well.  They usually require multiple treatments over several weeks time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fracel Laser and Pore Size

I have seen very significant improvement with both the Fraxel re:Store and the Fraxel re:pair for reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and restoring a smoother look to the skin. Microdermabrasion is fine in a series, perhaps combined with superficial peels for finer pores but the Fraxel will give accelerated results.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Chemical peels are not the treatment for spider veins.

Chemical peels do not have any effect on the appearance of spider veins and may in fact make them slightly more visible by removing pigmentation and overlying tissues. Pores may be slightly improved.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Spider veins and large pores

I am not aware of any treatment that can actually shrink pores. Treatments that can, however, improve the appearance of pores include chemical peels, microdermabrasion and possibly IPL. Chemical peels will do nothing for the spider veins, but IPL would address that problem. You may want to include use of a gentle exfoliating cleanser or cream containing, for example 10% glycolic acid as part of your daily skincare regimen.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.