So, what are chemical peels?
They are a chemical solution or an acid that is spread over the skin approximately every one to two weeks. There are higher strength peels that must be managed by a qualified dermatologist. Estheticians, in spas and salons, use lower strength peels. At present, there is no proof that a single chemical will work better than another. They are all similar in their effectiveness.
Types of chemical peels used include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, amino fruit acid among others.
Some Interesting Facts:
Chemical peels have been in use for skin healing for thousands of years. Even Cleopatra would take baths with milk and honey. Milk contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is still used today to help with acne.
Another chemical that is used to help acne is acetic acid, which is found in apple cider vinegar. It’s something that can be used at home to cleanse and tone your skin.
Types of Chemical Peels:
Light Chemical Peels
AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which is naturally in sugar cane, is mostly used in a light peel. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid chemical peels fall into this category also. It is non-invasive and helps to remove dead skin cells and damaged skin, especially skin that has suffered sun damage. It also promotes regeneration and enhances skin texture. The light peels also help with acne scars. These particular treatments can be performed in a salon, spa, or at home.
Medium Chemical Peels
TCA (trichloroacetic acid) provides more robust results for acne scars, smoothing out fine lines, the texture of the skin, and uneven skin tone. Medium peels are useful for any part of the body and are perfect for particular site treatments and don’t take a long time to complete. These procedures are required to take place in doctor’s offices.
Deep Chemical Peels
These are Phenol peels, used for more severe acne scars and blotchiness. Only one application is needed, and they take a long time to heal. The results, however, last for years. Carbolic acid, used on the skin is a type of treatment that is used only on the face.
Recovery time for this procedure takes about a week due to the swelling that occurs afterward.
How Do They Work for Acne?
The peel takes away old dead skin cells and allows the new cells to take their place. Peels are very useful in acne healing at a much faster rate. It is also very helpful with the healing of old acne scars.
Some products for peels can only be obtained in a doctor’s office, at a spa, or salon. There are also products that can be made with apple cider vinegar or over the counter products used at home. Be aware that you cannot treat all types of acne with a chemical peel.
Different Types of Chemical Peel Used For Acne and What They Do:
- Salicylic acid chemical peel is used as a peel on darker-skinned individuals and can be utilized as an anti-inflammatory as well. It is used at a lower strength than other acids and used with the Light Chemical Peels.
- Glycolic acid chemical peel is used to clean out pores that can lead to acne. This acid has a higher strength than salicylic acid and is employed by a doctor for a Medium Chemical Peel.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids will release the layer of “glue” between cells on the skin’s surface. This type of chemical, found in over the counter remedies, is also for acne.
- Phenol and trichloroacetic acid are also used to remove multiple layers of skin. These are toxic and will sometimes be combined with croton oil or septisol so that it will go further into the skin. More recently, due to the toxicity of these products, doctors have changed over to laser resurfacing. Lasers have a tendency to leave a recognizable line on skin, so in some cases, the doctor will use the chemical peel in treating acne and acne scars. This compound is for Deep Chemical Peel.
Who is the right candidate for a chemical peel?
Depending on how severe your acne is and the type, there are many different options for chemical peels. Most people are very pleased with the results they get with them. To ensure that you get what is best for your circumstances, especially if you have severe acne problems, always consult a professional. You have the option of a dermatologist or esthetician. Be sure to research sources before committing to something important such as your skin.