Chemical peel

What are dermabrasions, chemical peels and laser treatments?  

Chemical peel

Chemical peels are liquids brushed on to the face to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells. Dermabrasion involves removing the top layer of skin, either using lasers or a specially made brush. This procedure is to help improve the skins appearance. Laser treatment can be used to treat mild to moderate acne scarring.

There are two types of laser treatment:

  • One where lasers are used to remove a small patch of skin around the scar to produce a new, smooth-looking area of skin (ablative laser treatment)
  • The other is where lasers are used to stimulate the growth of new protein in the skin (collagen), which helps to repair some of the damage caused by scarring, and improves the appearance of the skin (non-ablative laser treatment).

Not normally funded treatment or procedure:

Dermabrasions, chemical peels and laser treatments are not usually funded by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. This is because, purely removal of surplus skin or fat irrespective of site on the body is deemed to be a cosmetic procedure.

The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded.

The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).

Advice and further guidance:

  • For more information search for ‘acne scarring’ and ‘chemical peels’ at
  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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