Popular Acne Treatment: Light Chemical Peels

by Wong Darren

Posted on Monday 6th of April 2009

Light chemical peels belong to the list of the most popular acne treatment methods offered by estheticians and dermatologists. Since this is a non-invasive procedure, there is really no downtime for this treatment. Light chemical peels can be done in an hour and you won’t have to take a rest or get a day off after the procedure. That is probably why most people often refer to this method as “lunchtime peels”. You can get the procedure during your lunch break and then return to work right after.

How the procedure works

Light chemical peels do not really result to skin peels. Instead, the procedure just promotes rapid skin exfoliation. This way, the skin can generate new cells and shed off its dead skin cells more rapidly. As the procedure gets rid of the dead skin cells and the excess oil in the skin, the pores will not clog up and bacteria cannot accumulate in the follicles.

Most of the time, the dermatologist or physician will use glycolic acid as a peeling agent. This acid is one of the most popular forms of AHA or alpha hydroxyl acids. AHAs are made from sugar cane and these acid components work effectively as acne treatment materials. Aside from AHAs, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are also achieving utmost popularity.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) pretty much function in the same way as AHAs. These ingredients can dissolve the oil and dirt that clogs up the pores of the skin. According to clinical trials and studies, BHAs also have fewer side effects. The most common form of BHA used for light chemical peels is the salicylic acid.

Preparing for the treatment

Many dermatologists will ask their patients to use a special moisturizer two weeks prior to the treatment period. Some will also prescribe the use of a special cleanser. Topical treatments may also be used. The most common of which is retinoid. These steps are made so your skin becomes more sensitive to the effects of the chemical peel.

What to expect during the procedure

During the procedure, the infected area should be thoroughly cleansed. Once the area has been dried, the clinician will apply the peeling agent. This substance which is almost water like, should be applied in small amounts. This exfoliating agent will be applied using a cotton pad or a small brush. Once it is applied on your face, you will feel a warming sensation with slight stings. In other cases, the peeling acid can bring about a “burning” feeling. The acid will be left on your face for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of your acne problem. On the average, most will leave it for ten minutes.

After 10 minutes, the peel with then be removed through the use of a neutralizing agent and cold water. If you need a full facial treatment, you will have to undergo a soothing mask application, a facial massage and toning. Some patients can also opt for light moisturizing since the peeling procedure can dry out the skin.

After the light chemical peel, the treated skin will look like it’s sunburned. Fortunately, this redness will fade in just a few hours. However, in some cases, the redness can last for five days. During this time, you can use makeup to conceal it. But, if the redness persists for more than a week, you should immediately consult with your doctor right away.

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