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Peels for Acne

Peels for Acne Peels for Acne Peels for Acne


When your skin's pores become clogged with bacteria, oil or dead skin cells, acne is typically the result. Characterized by red pimples, whiteheads or blackheads, acne can take months to eradicate using over-the-counter or prescription treatments. One option that can penetrate the skin and offer faster results is the chemical peel.


Acne chemical peels involve the application of a chemical to the skin. The chemical penetrates the pores, eradicating dead skin cells and oils in the pores, according to, a website devoted to expert advice in health and fitness. In addition to this, acne peels exfoliate the top layer of skin cells on the face, revealing new, fresh skin underneath. This can make acne-prone skin appear smoother.


A number of chemical solutions can be used in acne chemical peels, according to The type used may depend upon the sensitivity of your skin, the severity of your acne and the amount of recovery time you are willing to spend, according to A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Resource, a health website designed to educate patients about medical procedures. Chemical peels are often classified in terms of depth. Some peels may penetrate more than others. The deepest peels require the most recovery time. An example of a light acne peel includes a glycolic acid peel, which require minimal recovery time. A trichloracetic acid peel is a medium depth peel that may require a week to two week's recovery. Phenol peels are the deepest peels and require anesthesia. These peels are typically used to treat more severe skin conditions, such as deep wrinkles or dangerous sunspots.


Chemical peels are typically applied in a dermatologist's or aesthetician's office. Your dermatologist will cleanse the skin to remove residual dirt and oils. The peel is then applied to the face and left on for a certain period of time, which may be anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. The chemical solution is then neutralized and removed from the face.


A chemical peel to treat acne does not have to be deep to be effective. According to a study conducted by Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, vice chair and professor of dermatology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, at the university, both salicylic and alpha hydroxy acid peels were effective in treating acne. These types of peels are milder and are associated with minimal side effects. Two weeks after the first treatment, 94 percent of patients experienced a reduction in acne lesions. One month later, 81 percent of patients still experienced improvement.

Side Effects

Because chemical peels encourage skin exfoliation and can penetrate deeply, they do result in some side effects for acne patients. These side effects include risk of infection, scarring and discoloration, according to Derma Network, a website devoted to skin care information. Immediate effects may include increased sun sensitivity, redness, peeling, irritation and some swelling. You should discuss the risk of any potential side effects with your dermatologist or aesthetician. Those with dark skin may be at particularly high risk for pigmentation problems. Discuss these risks with your physician.

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