A chemical peel can be used as an acne treatment when there is no significant improvement in the acne condition after using topical acne solutions or acne care products. Acne may make a person feel uncomfortable due to the presence of scars and blemishes on the face. In order to reduce such skin blemishes, skin de-pigmentation and scars, cosmetic peels incorporated with mild chemicals can be used.
Chemical Peel Treatment
A peel for acne treatment is nothing but an application of a chemical solution on your face. This solution is made of salicylic acid, and it will make your skin blister; it will peel off over a period of several days. As old skin exfoliates, new and fresh looking skin comes that reduces the scars and blemishes on your skin. These acne chemical peels are also effective in reducing the wrinkles and fine lines on your face. There are three important chemical solutions used as acne chemical peels. They are AHA, TCA and P peel.
Alphahydroxy Acid (AHA) Peel
It is also termed as glycolic acid peel, and this peel is the lightest of all the three types. Sometimes, Beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) is also used as a mild peel. It is very gentle on your skin. You can get some minor side effects like dryness, redness and flaking or scaling of skin, but they are all mild so you can continue with your daily activities. It might have to be repeated after an interval for getting the desired result.
Trichloroacetic Acide (TCA) Peel
This peel is stronger than an AHA peel. Side effects from this peel are similar to that of an AHA peel, but there can be significant swelling also, which might require mild pain killer medication. You can also get temporary crust or a scab on your face. It takes nearly 10 days to heal, and so you may have to refrain yourself from work for few days. The redness on the face may last for more than 2 months, and hence high SPF lotions and creams have to be applied to prevent hyper-pigmentation or blotchiness. This peel also needs to be repeated periodically for better results.
Phenol (P) Peel
This is the strongest of peels. The face becomes swollen to a greater extent, and sometimes even the eyes are swollen shut for a period of time. Hence, nearly two weeks of recovery period is required for you to start work. Though the treated skin looks very red, it will fade off within weeks or months, and the smooth result of the skin will be long lasting.
Word of Caution
You can opt for a chemical peel only if your acne or acne scars are superficial in nature. If you have deep-seated acne or severe acne, then it will not be helpful or improve your condition. The TCA or phenol peel may help for certain deep acne scars, otherwise only laser skin resurfacing treatments may prove beneficial. You cannot receive a chemical peel treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.