Can I Get a Chemical Peel If I Have Moles?

A chemical peel is a chemical solution, as the name suggests, to getting more youthful and smooth skin.  After application of a chemical such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or carbolic acid, among others, your skin will blister and eventually peel off, revealing new skin in its place.  The controlled wound leads to the development of skin that is significantly improved in appearance and texture.  One of the many questions that patients have when determining the best treatment option for their goals is whether having moles prevents them from being able to undergo a chemical peel.

You may have heard a few things that would raise concerns about chemical peels and moles.  Perhaps you know someone who underwent a peel and then found that her moles looked slightly different afterwards.  Or maybe an evaluation that began with the intention of selecting a treatment resulted in a physician identifying a suspicious mole.

A mole is caused by cells in the skin that grow in a cluster rather than being spread throughout the skin.  Known as melanocytes, they are responsible for the color of skin.  Usually moles are brown or black, and they can appear anywhere.  Sometimes there are individual moles on the skin, and other times they appear in groups.  With the average adult having about 10 to 40 moles, most appear when you are still a child, and new ones generally stop appearing after the age of 30.  While most moles are harmless, ones that change in size, color or texture could be problematic.  Spots that are irregular in outline, increase in size, and appear multicolored also should be examined by a physician.

As long as the moles you have are not cancerous, you can safely undergo a chemical peel.  Your physician will be able to identify any moles that seem suspicious and will recommend treatment options for any problem areas.  If it is determined that none of your moles show reasons for concern, you will then be able to proceed with consultation for a chemical peel.

All chemical peels work in the same way – by destroying specific areas of skin to force the growth of new skin to replace it.  As new skin grows back, it is fragile, but it is also significantly improved in texture in comparison to the skin it has replaced.  There are three types of chemical peels: superficial, medium, and deep.  The differences between them includes the concentration of acid that is used as a wounding or exfoliating agent, the number of applications, and how much time the acid remains on the skin.  As one would expect, deeper peels have more noticeable results, but they also result in more intense pain and take longer in terms of healing time.

If you have moles on an area for which you are considering a chemical peel, make sure to consult with your physician to make sure that they are not precancerous or cancerous first.  As long as the moles are not problematic, you should have no problem with proceeding with a chemical peel as a way to generate smoother, more youthful looking skin.

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