The causes of acne can vary from person to person. But no matter what the cause of your acne is, a chemical peel may be able to help you combat it. A chemical peel consists of an acidic gel or liquid that is applied to the skin, which exfoliates the top layer and reveals the soft, new, clear skin underneath.
Chemical peels come in several different strengths and ingredients, so the surgeon can select the one that is most appropriate for your form of acne. Some chemical peels are so light that you can have one done over your lunch break.
How It Works
Upon the application of the chemical peel, the acid in the liquid will quickly exfoliate the dead skin and upper layers of old skin on your face. The depth of the peel will depend on the strength selected by you and the surgeon.
The exfoliating action helps remove excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells that could clog pores, thereby preventing acne from forming. The exfoliation leaves the pores open and clear. It is recommended that you have a series of peels so the skin can adjust.
A 2008 study in Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery showed that participants experienced a 40-50% reduction in the occurrence of acne lesions after they got a series of four to six chemical peels. The results from a chemical peel generally keep acne at bay for about a month, which is why a series is recommended.
Getting a Chemical Peel for Acne
Depending on the strength of the peel, the surgeon may perform it in the office or outside the office at a surgical center.
The peel will then be left on for the prescribed period of time, which is generally around 10 minutes. You may experience some tingling or warming. Some of the stronger peels may produce more of a burning sensation- for those peels, the surgeon may recommend some form of local anesthesia.
Once the peel is done working, a neutralizing agent will be applied and the peel will be washed away. Once your skin is dry, you're done! The surgeon will then give you recommendations about sun exposure and when you can reapply makeup, all of which will vary with the kind of peel you've gotten.