Fact or Fiction: Chemical Peels

By: Alison Cooper

Fact or Fiction: Chemical Peels
Image: minemero/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

When you think "chemical peel," do you have visions of doctors pouring burning chemicals over your face? Painful after-effects like shiny, itchy red skin? Take our quiz to find out how up-to-date your chemical peel knowledge is.
"Chemexfoliation" is another term for chemical peel.
fact
Chemical peels are also called "chemexfoliation" and "derma-peels."
fiction
almost fact: Chemical peels are also known as "dermoplastics."

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In a chemical peel, a doctor applies a chemical peel to your skin that penetrates deeply, "melting away" the older layers of skin.
fact
fiction
The chemicals cause the outer layer of skin to blister and peel off, revealing younger-looking skin.
almost fact: The chemicals actually rejuvenate the outer layers of the skin, making them appear younger.

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Chemical peels can be performed only on the face and neck.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's face, neck and hands.
You can get a chemical peel on your face, neck or hands.

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A chemical peel can improve wrinkles, sags and bulges.
fact
fiction
Chemical peels have been shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but for more deeper issues like sags and bulges you'll need another procedure.
almost fact: A peel doesn't really improve any of these issues -- it just makes your skin look healthier for a while.

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Precancerous keratoses (which appear as scaly spots) can be helped with a chemical peel.
fact
Chemical peels can improve precancerous keratoses and also prevent them from reappearing.
fiction
almost fact: A chemical peel plus a shot of collagen can improve the keratoses.

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People with fair skin and hair will see the most visible benefits from a chemical peel.
fact
True. If you have fair skin and light hair, you're a good candidate for a chemical peel.
fiction
almost fact: People with olive skin and dark hair are the best candidates.

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Chemical peels can contain a solution of glycolic or salicylic acid.
fact
Your doctor will probably use glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid.
fiction
almost fact: Keratalytic acid is the most common solution.

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Chemical peels usually take about an hour.
fact
fiction
Chemical peels are pretty quick procedures -- count on about five to 10 minutes.
almost fact: It's actually more like two hours.

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After a chemical peel, your face will be red and possibly scaly for a few weeks.
fact
fiction
almost fact: The redness and scaling usually disappears after a week.
Three to seven days is the usual time period for chemical peel after-effects.

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If you're taking birth control pills, you have an increased risk of abnormal pigmentation after a chemical peel.
fact
Abnormal pigmentation is a possible side effect if you're on oral contraceptives.
fiction
almost fact: Birth control pills will increase your healing time after a chemical peel.

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