Do superficial scars return after chemical peels?

Do superficial scars improved by chemical peels eventually revert back to original without continued peels, like aged skin?

Doctor Answers 2

Superficial scars

Most superficial scars  in my experience seems to improve because of the slight tightening affect of them and the general improvement of the surrounding skin by the increased turn-over of the cells.  True scars improve with time, but are permanent in nature.  Some newer techniques for treating scars that are unsightly and bothersome to persons are ablative, fractioned O2  lasers.

Benefits and Limitations to superficial chemical peels

Your question is an interesting one! While scarred skin will never "return to normal", the appearance of scars can be markedly improved by well-selected chemical peels. Superficial peels, the gentlest type, are the safest but will not yield the most dramatic results. It is possible that with a series of regularly-scheduled superficial peels, you could see pleasing results. I do not necessarily think skin will "revert back to original" after stopping peels. This is because the changes induced in the skin by the chemical peel agents will not simply disappear. However, if there is a chronic underlying condition (such as acne) that is contributing to ongoing scarring, then more scars will likely appear as a result of an uncontrolled disease.

Elizabeth Damstetter, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

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