Acne Treatment

Acne is a common problem especially for teenagers, however it may occur in Adults as well. Without an effective Acne Treatment, it may greatly affect their confidence and development. Active acne may best be treated with Daily Skin Care and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) or chemical peels.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

Light to medium chemical peels are extremely popular treatments. They are the most superficial of all chemical peels, so there is little to no downtime. In fact, these peels are often called “lunchtime peels” because you can usually get one done quickly over a lunch hour and return to work directly afterwards.

During a light chemical peel treatment, the skin is exfoliated using an alpha or beta hydroxy acid. Done in a series, these peels may improve mild to moderately severe cases of acne, and can be given over the face or other body area where acne is a problem. Light chemical peels are also used to help soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin texture and fade discolorations – Results may vary per individual.

How it Works:

Chemical peels don’t always really peel the skin, despite what the name implies. They rapidly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively. By keeping dead skin cells and excess oil from clogging the hair follicle, pore blockages (comedones) and pimples may be drastically reduced.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are close cousins to AHAs, and work in much the same way. BHAs are especially helpful at dissolving excess oil buildup within the pores, and they tend to be less irritating than AHAs. Salicylic acid, a familiar and effective anti-acne ingredient, is the most commonly used BHA for chemical peel treatments.

What to Expect During Your Peel:

During a light chemical peel treatment, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed and dried. Next, the AHA or BHA is applied to the face. The exfoliating agent is generally thin, almost water-like in its consistency, and is applied with a small brush, cotton pad or large cotton swab.

You may feel a warming sensation soon after the exfoliating agent is applied. Some people say they feel just a slight stinging; others describe it as more of a burning but it may vary per individual . The length of time the peeling agent is left on varies, but the average is about 10 minutes. Many skincare therapists use small, hand-held fans to gently cool the skin during the peel, which can keep you more comfortable during the treatment.

Next, the peel is removed using a neutralizing agent. The skin is dried and the peel is complete

After your peel, your skin may look like it’s sunburned. This redness can fade in just a few hours time or last up to five days, depending on the strength of the peeling agent used and how long it was left on the skin. It’s OK to use makeup to conceal the redness.

Possible Side Effects:

The most common side effects of a light chemical peel treatment might include:

  • redness, peeling or flaking of the skin
  • burning during the treatment

More serious redness and irritation might occur, but it’s fairly rare. Let the clinician performing your peel know if you feel uncomfortable burning during the treatment.

If you are using any prescription medications, you must get your doctor’s approval before having a chemical peel. This includes oral medications for acne or medications for issues other than acne.

Tell the therapist performing your peel about all acne treatments you are using, including over-the-counter products. Also, be sure to let them know about the skin care products you are currently using, especially if they contain AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc.) or salicylic acid.

Getting the Most from Your Chemical Peel:

  • If you are using any prescription medication, always get your dermatologist’s OK before having a light chemical peel.
  • Remember to wear sunscreen daily. Your skin could be more prone to sunburn and sun damage for some time after your peel. Choose a noncomedogenic brand that won’t clog your pores.
  • Medicated cleansers, such as those containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, can sting if used after a chemical peel
  • Although your skin may feel softer and smoother after just one session, you may get the best results with a series of treatments. To treat acne, the sessions are usually spaced one to two weeks apart.
  • Ask our doctor what acne treatment medications, if any, you should use while having a series of light chemical peels done