Will a Chemical Peel Work for Stretch Marks?

Does a chemical peel work for stretch marks? It sounds like a chemical peel can help diminish the visibility of stretch marks but not get rid of them. Is this true? If it is, does that mean that the stretch marks will become more visible over time after the chemical peel?


F, 46, Vermont

Tags:woman age 35-44 stretch marks treatment temporary

Without seeing photos or doing a physical examination, it’s difficult for me to gauge the severity of your stretch marks in order to recommend the right treatment for them. However, a board-certified plastic surgeon or an experienced dermatologist who deals with this question on a routine basis would likely rule against chemical peels as a suitable treatment for stretch marks. The best results for chemical peels are on the face.

Stretch marks are typically caused when the skin expands due to pregnancy or weight gain. Some stretch marks fade over time, others don’t. Stretch marks usually appear on the thighs, belly, breasts, hips and certain other areas of the human body.

Once stretch marks reach the point where they appear as silver, grey, or white streaks (white stretch marks), it means they’re at a later stage. Since stretch marks run several layers deep, chemical peels that work on the top layer of skin aren’t likely to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Some people have looked into other treatments like, for example, topical creams, or have chosen to take more radical steps, like microdermabrasion or laser treatment but, as I mentioned, you should consult with a medical professional experienced in this area before determining the most effective treatment (or whether treatment is warranted at all) for you.

Chemical peels, such as a TCA peel or TCA chemical peel (TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid), are generally used on the face, neck and back to reduce age spots, fine lines, treat some types of acne, and give the skin a better glow. The procedure is typically not that successful at treating stretch marks, as stretch mark scars run deeper than the outer layer / top layer of skin and have proven only minimally effective. Some in the profession have suggested alternatives for stretch mark removal--treatments ranging from laser to topical applications to tummy tucks, however, they all have their drawbacks and can present a host of other issues.

I’d suggest you first consult with a few board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons before beginning any procedure. Then you can review your options and decide which treatments, what recovery time, and what the best value for your money would be.

Lawrence Broder has 1 Chemical Peel before & after:

Chemical Peel before image performed by Dr. Lawrence BroderChemical Peel after image performed by Dr. Lawrence Broder

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No, chemical peels cannot fix stretch marks... unfortunately.  Sorry :(