Can chemical peels also help prevent skin cancer?

Chemical peels

Chemical peels are used as a treatment for ageing or damaged skin in order to return a degree of youthful vitality to the skin’s surface.

A chemical peel can be used to treat fine lines, acne scars, discolouration or pigmentation and sun damage.

For much of these skin complaints the main perpetrator is the sun, and it’s this link that has led scientists to investigate what power the cosmetic peel may have in the quest against the pernicious disease.

A common problem that chemical peels target and help diminish is sun spots. These dry and pigmented patches of skin are caused as a result of over-exposure to the sun over time. The clinical name for these is actinic keratosis, and they can develop in to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer.

Of the American population, where these studies have been based, 10% of these sun spots in fact develop in to SCC and with the number of skin cancers developing that means that between 40 and 60% of SCC skin cancers start off as a sun spot.

A study carried out at the Veterans Affair Palo Alto Medical Centre in California showed that trichloracetic acid chemical peels successfully eliminated these sun spots. What that means is they are simultaneously eradicating the chance of SCC in that area.

Skin cancer is a common form of cancer in the UK too and preventative measures such as these may result in the overall figures, particularly with squamous cell carcinoma, going down.

Content provided by Aurora Skin Clinics.