Chemical peels are gaining popularity nowadays, thanks to their effectiveness with a variety of skin issues. Some people get chemical peels to heal acne or acne scars, while others want to combat wrinkles or uneven skin tone.
While there are many reasons someone may decide to try a chemical peel for their skin, the most popular motivation seems to be to treat acne. If this is your primary motivation for seeking a chemical peel treatment, you certainly want to find out more about how effective it really is.
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Are Chemical Peels an Effective Treatment Against Acne?
Dermatologists agree that chemical peels can help with both acne and acne scarring. Chemical peels act similarly to a deep exfoliant and will clear your pores and remove excess oil. As an exfoliant, chemical peels remove dead skin cells while promoting new growth, which helps heal acne scars.
You don’t need the strongest chemical peel treatment to help with your acne either. Just a superficial peel can be enough to help most moderate to severe acne cases. However, if you want something more targeted to heal acne scars, there are specific chemical peel treatments you can look into as well.
Which Chemical Peel Should I Get?
Before you undergo treatment, you’ll have a consultation with our specialist who will point you in the right direction. If you’re curious about the chemical peel options available, though, here’s a quick guide.
Chemical peels come in three general strengths depending on your situation and what your specialist recommends: superficial, medium, and deep.
A superficial peel only affects the outermost epidermal layer of your skin. One of the most attractive features about a superficial peel treatment is that there’s no required downtime after the treatment. Those with sensitive skin might need a day or two before they feel ready to return to their normal cleansing routine, but there’s generally no necessary wait time.
With medium peels, you can expect a week or so before resuming your regular cleansing routine. Medium chemical peels affect more than just the outer epidermal layer and go as deep as your upper dermal layer of skin. As such, your skin will need to rest before you can expose it to soaps and lotions.
When it comes to deep peels, you should expect two or more weeks of downtime after each treatment. These peels impact your skin the most, and you won’t want to be exposing your skin to soaps and lotions, even if they’re made for sensitive skin.
How do Chemical Peels Work?
Chemical peels are a way to exfoliate your skin. They remove dead skin cells, promote new skin cell growth, and prevent excess oil from clogging your pores. This, in turn, reduces acne.
The removal of dead skin cells and promotion of new skin cell growth helps fade acne scars. In the same way, discoloration or uneven skin tones can be resolved.
Just like a regular face mask, chemical peels are applied directly onto your skin by a specialist. While the peel shouldn’t hurt, those with particularly sensitive skin might feel a tingling sensation. Afterward, redness and irritation is also normal though some people may also notice a little bit of peeling, almost as if you got a little sunburned.
Your dermatologist will be sure to give you clear instructions on how to care for your face after the treatment. They may give you a lotion or ointment to help the healing process as well and schedule another treatment if they think you may need more than one to benefit from the treatment.
Chemical peels are a more recent method for treating acne, but they are tried and tested methods that are only used by specialists. Although the term “chemical” may be daunting, there’s no reason to be afraid. Chemical peels are an effective acne treatment method, so don’t let the name of them scare you off.
Brittany Lane White, a board-certified family nurse practitioner from Lakeland, Florida, holds a nursing degree from Florida State University. With six years of experience in medical and trauma/surgical ICU in Tampa, she pursued a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Tampa. Her passion for aesthetic medicine grew during her master’s training. In Los Angeles, she completed clinical and injection specialist training at a top 25 Allergan account. Brittany focuses on a natural approach to facial aesthetics, emphasizing confidence and refreshment, not an artificial appearance. Beyond work, she enjoys spinning, travel, reading, and beach weekends with her husband, Brian, and two children, Georgina (Georgie) and Westley.