Chemical Peels

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what chemical peels are and what they can do, but they are quite useful in the management and clearing of acne. In the simplest terms, a chemical peel is the process of applying a chemical solution to the skin to improve and smooth its texture by removing the damaged outer layers or stimulating it to heal and regrow.

To some people the very word “chemical” applied to their skin is scary, and deep chemical peels are a little scary, but the term “chemical peel” shouldn’t be. It is called that to differentiate it from a physical peel, which uses some form of abrasive action to remove the outer layers of skin.

Chemical peels are sorted into three categories:

Light Chemicals Peels

Light Chemical peels are sometimes called superficial chemical peels, or chemical exfoliation, use alphahydroxy acids such as lactic acid (from sour milk) and glycolic acid (from sugar cane) and betahydroxy acids such as citric acid (from citrus fruit) and salicylic acid (from willow bark) to peel the outermost layers of skin. Appearance ranges from unnoticeable to mild flaking to actual peeling as after a sunburn. Light peels help reduce dead cell build-up, particularly inside the pores, fade dark spots and can soften scar tissue. They can also minimize signs of aging.

Medium-depth Chemical Peels

These use Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) and Jessner’s solution (salicylic and lactic acids combined) to reach beneath the stratum corneum or outermost layer of the epidermis. Some definitions include reaching the upper layer of the dermis (papillary dermis). These peels not only remove dead skin cells, but they actually injure the skin, stimulating it to heal. The healing process stimulates the growth of new collagen and elastin, significantly improving the appearance of aging skin. They include several days to a couple weeks of “down time” while your skin heals.

Deep Chemical Peels

Deep Chemical Peels are surgery. They reach down to the deepest layer of the dermis, forcing the skin to regrow. Sometimes the regrown skin is fabulously better, younger, healthier, and unscarred. Sometimes. They are usually done under anesthesia because they are very painful. The recovery time is significant and they can have serious side effects. Sometimes it destroys the some or all of your melanocytes, so your skin is unable to tan or protect itself from the sun. One of the solutions used, phenol, is known to be toxic to the kidneys. A deep peel can only be done by a doctor, and if you are looking for one, get lots of recommendations!

The Acne Treatment Center uses Light Chemical Peels

The Acne Treatment Center uses light chemical peels formulated specifically to peel acneic skin. Our peels exfoliate dead skin cells inside the pore, soften the characteristic acne plugs or comedones to make them easier to extract, fade dark spots, dissolve and control excess oil, smooth rough textured skin and allow the active ingredients in our treatments and your home care to reach deeper down into the pores. As an added benefit they help reduce the depth and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!

©2011 Jane Neville Dudik; The Acne Treatment Center,