I have lived in Austin, Texas my whole life. I grew up being outside in the sun. I also have a family history of skin cancer. I recently read that a chemical peel may be effective in removing pre-cancerous cells. Is this true?
A chemical peel may be effective in removing pre-cancerous cells. Pre-cancerous cells associated with basal cell and squamous cell cancers are confined to the epidermis. As long as you utilize a chemical peel that penetrates deeper than this the pre-cancerous cells will be removed. The limitation to this is that some pre-cancer cells will extend into the hair follicles and oil glands and may be out of reach for a peel. In general though, this is an effective treatment. It is not however covered by insurance as there are other topical medications that are covered. Secondarily a peel of this depth will provide cosmetic improvement in wrinkles and pigmentation.
Posted by Dr. Buckingham