Glycolic Chemical Peels for Acne
Glycolic chemical peels are normally associated helping to get rid of wrinkles and to make the skin look younger. However, they can also be used to treat current acne breakouts and prevent new blemishes from forming. Its important to understand the risks and complications possible with chemical peels before pursuing them as a treatment option.
A chemical peel is a treatment that uses a solution to peel off the top layers of skin, revealing healthier skin beneath it. Glycolic acid is a popular choice because it is generally mild and can help smooth fine lines and remove discoloration. However, it's also helpful in controlling acne and reducing oil production, making for smoother skin in the future.
Glycolic acid falls under the category of alpha hydroxy acids, along with other fruit acids and lactic acid. These are the gentlest of all chemical peels and can improve the texture of your skin over time. While most often used for treating fine lines and slight imperfections, glycolic acid can also be used to reduce hyperpigmentation left behind by acne and acne lesions themselves.
While glycolic acid peels are generally mild, they can cause a few unpleasant side effects. For example, your skin my appear red or irritated following treatment. Likewise, any acne blemishes you have may sting or crust over for a few days after a peel. These side effects typically go away within a week and will happen less frequently if you continue to undergo peels.
Though effective at reducing acne blemishes and evening your skin's texture and tone, glycolic acid peels are not effective overnight. You'll likely need to undergo several peels before you notice a change in your skin's appearance. Using chemical peels also makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, which means you'll need to wear sunblock at all times to prevent damage.
The chemical peel procedure is fairly straightforward. Once you go to your dermatologist's office, he will cleanse your skin, then apply the glycolic peel solution. Depending on the strength of the peel, it will be left on for one to two minutes or up to 10 minutes. Then, the peel will be rinsed off. It's important to use a moisturizer following treatment to reduce visible peeling and to soothe any irritation that may develop.
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