Chemical Peel Work for Stretch Marks

Can a chemical peel be used on any body area or just the face?

Doctor Answers 10

Chemical peels only help with the color of stretch marks and blending them a little

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Chemical peels can be done on almost any part of the body. They do very little for stretch marks but do blend them alittle and even out the colors. Lasers and IPL's can give you about 20% improvement in stretch marks after 5-6 treatments.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Very few realistic options for mature stretch marks

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Generally, there are few succesful regimens for managing stretch marks (striae distensae).

The striae which respond are usually the "fresh" ones that are red or recently formed. In these instances the goal is diminshing the redness.

The real problem is the dermis is destroyed, and until we have a way of regenerating the skin (in the same way a newt can regenerate its amputated tail), we will not be able to repair or improve stretch marks.

Retin-A may be of some use in thickening the dermis but it will never be the same as it was originally. The skin is a complex organ and peels are capable of treating primarily the surface. Stretch mark damage is deep and generally beyond the reach of most peels.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Chemical peels

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chemical peels come in different varieties depending on the chemical used- the type of acid. They are classified according to how deep the acid can penetrate the layers of skin to produce a control burn, The deep the burn the better the result as more layers of skin are renewed, The limiting factor is the skin thickness in each part of the body. Thinner skin such as found in the neck will not tolerate a deep chemical peel and may cause scarring.
The key is to have the right acid with the right region of the body to produce the best results possible.

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Chemical peels wiil not help stretchmarks

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Chemical peels will not help stretch marks. Unfortunately stretch marks cannot be removed by any non-surgical method. The only way they can be removed is through surgery. Stretch marks are caused because the skin is stretched beyond its capacity to recoil. Its like a rubber band that is over stretched and can never regain its original shortened length. Any laser that claims to tighten skin has not addressed the basic physiologic problem which is a dermis that is overstretched. The laser will however help the coloration but the stretch marks themselves will persist. You have to ask yourself if the goal is stretch mark removal or if its the discoloration that bothers you. Your best option is to have them surgically remove where appropriate. Unfortunately not all areas are amenable to surgery. Visit with a plastic surgeon.

Chemical peels not a good treatment for stretch marks

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Unfortunately, there is no easy treatment for stretch marks. Chemical peels do not penetrate the depth needed to cure stretch marks. The only peel that may have any efficacy is called a phenol peel but this type of peel requires a highly specialized physician and cardiac monitoring while it is done. 

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Chemical peels does not work for stretch marks

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Since stretch marks are caused by breaking down of elastic fiber down deep in the skin during any expansion processs, chemical peel, which does not penetrate very deep, will not work for stretch marks. There is unfortunately no cure for stretch marks. Sorry for the bad news.

Isabel Zhu, MD, PhD
Boulder Dermatologist

Chemical peels and stretch marks.

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Chemical peels may be used in other parts of the body, but be advised that there are many different peel types with different indications and strengths.  I don't believe that you will see any significant improvement in stretch marks with peels.

No real cure for established stretch marks

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Unfortunately, despite many clams, there are no established treatment for stretch marks. A stretch mark is due to the annear complete loss of the underlying dermis. A chemical peel will remove a portion of the overlying skin but will not bring the overstretched dermis back to normal. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Stretch marks and chemical peels

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Chemical peels are best used on the face for skin tightening, removing fine lines and improving the color irregularities. Some use it off the face, but using it for stretch marks will not make a big improvement.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Chemical peels and stretch marks

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Chemical peels generally are not helpful for stretch marks.

There are two basic kinds of stretch marks: newer pink/red ones and older white ones.

The newer pink/red ones respond to laser and light devices such as the IPl and Pulsed-Dye laser.

The old white stretch marks are very difficult to treat. Topical tretinoin cream can be helpful. The Relume laser (290-320 nm wavelength light) might re-pigment the white skin associated with the stretch marks to make them less noticeable but will not change the texture.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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.