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Chemical Peels (general)
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Chemical Peels (general)


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Chemical Peels (general)

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Chemical Peels (general)

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Chemical Peeling for Acne Scars
Reviewed on November 21, 2017

What is a chemical peel?

A Chemical Peeling for Acne Scars also known as chemexfoliation or dermapeeling, is used to improve the appearance of the skin. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes it to "blister" and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.

What conditions does a chemical peel treat?

Chemical peels are used to treat certain skin conditions or to improve appearance. Fine lines under the eyes or around the mouth and wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and hereditary factors can often be reduced or eliminated with this procedure.

Sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels. They may require other cosmetic surgical procedures, such as carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, a face lift, brow lift, eye lift, or soft tissue filler. A dermatologic surgeon can help determine the best treatment for each person.

Chemical peels are performed on the face, neck or hands. They can help reduce:

Certain types of acne

Mild scarring

Sun spots

Age spots

Liver spots


Dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills (melasma)

Chemical peels can also help skin that is dull in texture and color.

Areas of sun damage, which may contain pre-cancerous keratoses that appear as scaly spots, may improve after chemical peeling. Following treatment, with diligent sun avoidance and sunscreen use, new pre-cancerous lesions are less likely to appear.

Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?

Generally, superficial peels can be used in all skin types. However, patients with darker skin types have greater risks of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin).

While superficial peels can be used in darker skin types, less aggressive treatments are advised to reduce risks of hyperpigmentation.

How are chemical peels performed?

A chemical peel can be performed in a doctor’s office or in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure. The skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils, and the eyes and hair are protected. One or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol), are applied to the skin.

Before the procedure:

Avoid tanning and direct sun exposure for 2 weeks before each treatment.

Apply topical products (such as hydroquinone) as instructed before treatment to prepare the skin.

Do not use any products containing retinoids (such as tretinoin) 1 to 2 weeks before treatment, unless your physician tells you differently.

If you have been prescribed oral antibiotics or an oral antiviral medicine, you should begin taking those at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Peel areas must be free of any open sores, lesions, or skin infections.

Day of peel: You will need preparation time for washing and scrubbing. Additionally, you will also need time for any sedation (which is optional). Remember: Ask your doctor if you need to have someone drive you home.

The procedure:

During a chemical peel, the physician applies the solution to small areas on the skin. These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, regenerated skin to appear.

During the procedure, most patients experience a warm to somewhat hot sensation that lasts about five to 10 minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. Cool compresses may be applied to help alleviate this stinging. A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the procedure.

What should be expected after the chemical peel?

Depending upon the type of chemical peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following a chemical peel. Peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Mild peels may be repeated at one to four-week intervals until the desired clinical effect is achieved.

Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling and the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Medium-depth peels may be repeated in six to twelve months, if necessary.

You will work with your dermatologist to determine the depth of your peel. This joint decision can vary, depending upon the condition of your skin and the objectives of treatment.

After treatment, some peels may require bandages to be placed on part or all of the skin that is treated. Bandages are usually removed in several days and may improve the effectiveness of the treatment.

It is necessary to avoid over-exposure to the sun after a chemical peel since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to complications. The dermatologic surgeon will prescribe the proper follow-up care to reduce the tendency to develop abnormal skin color after peeling.

What are the possible complications of chemical peels?

In certain skin types, there is a risk of developing a temporary or permanent color change in the skin. Taking birth control pills, subsequent pregnancy, or family history of brownish discoloration on the face may increase the possibility of developing abnormal pigmentation.

Although low, there is a risk of scarring in certain areas of the face, and certain individuals may be more prone to scarring. If scarring does occur, it can usually be treated with good results.

There is a small risk of reactivation of cold sores (herpes infection) in patients with a history of herpes outbreaks. This problem is treated with medication as prescribed by the dermatological surgeon. Your doctor may also choose to give you medication before, or immediately after, the peel in order to prevent a herpes outbreak. Prior to treatment, it is important for a patient to inform the physician of any past history of keloids (scar tissue overgrowth created at the site of a skin injury), or unusual scarring tendencies, listing of X-rays treatments to the face, or recurring cold sores.

Better, and hopefully almost there
Reviewed on April 27, 2017

I'm only rating this based off of my results with acne, but honestly it's a 5/5 stars when it comes to the overall health of skin, my breakouts are still coming but majorly reduced. I get really severe cystic acne (unknown cause, possibly hormonal), and I've tried so many products and nothing has completely reduced/gotten rid of my breakouts. Before my first peel all the way back in September, I used to get my worst breakouts on the sides of my face (near eyes, forehead, and my jawline and also on my cheeks). I had the absolute worst cystic acne I've ever seen. It was disgusting and even when my breakouts would subside for a while, it wouldn't matter because I had so much redness/discoloration/uneven skin tone/huge pores left over from every breakout I've ever had. I'd get breakouts that would last for months at a time and even when they'd finally go away, I was left with huge red/blue and even purple cystic spots. It's important to mention I was on minocycline for a year at this point and the damn dermatologist kept saying "yeah it's getting better, keep taking the meds and come back in three months". (Such garbage, I know). I thought my skin would never be the same again, but I'm happy to say that since my first peel I haven't had breakouts in certain areas of my face. Like I said, I used to get the worst breakouts around the sides of my face and my cheeks, and I hardly get breakouts there anymore. I haven't had any breakouts on the sides of my face or my jawline since the first peel. I can't even see the discoloration from those breakouts I had before and I never thought that it would get any better. The only place I am still having trouble is, unfortunately, the center of my face. I still get breakouts between my eyes, in my eyebrow area, under my nose (the absolute worst place ever to get a cyst) and I've had a few small ones on my chin under my lower lip. Though I still get breakouts, they're less severe, and they don't last nearly as long. This isn't the only thing I've done with my skin though, I think a combination of the peel and trying new skincare products have helped my skin but I don't think I could have made it this far without the peels. I've had four so far (I think) and I'm going in for another one this weekend to hopefully get rid of my breakouts for good. I have only been getting Vi Peel though, no other brand.

by Geetha.adhavan on 08/07/2017 11:32
Is it useful for red acne scars??
Chemical Peels to Treat Acne Scars
Reviewed on March 16, 2017

Chemical peels have been a lifesaver! I used them to treat hyperpigmentation leftover from pimples and small icepick scars. I don't think this would get rid of acne. I went to a esthetician to do mine. Please please please don't buy your own and do it yourself! You are giving yourself a controlled chemical burn and if you don't know what you're doing (which you don't) you can burn your face! It's not worth saving some money. The at home peels don't work as well either so you're wasting money. You need a trained esthetician to evaluate your skin and reccomend the best strength peel for your scars and to perform it correctly. Google chemical peel burns! You get them done once a month and for me it took 3 peels to fade the majority of my scars. It costs $150 each peel which is expensive but it really is worth it! I'd rather pay a lot of for a professional to do this correctly rather than save some money but potentially burn my skin. For really dark scars I used some scar fading creams along with the peels and my scars are now all faded. I don't need to use concealer anymore! I swear by peels, they are a god send!!!

by Realisticbabe on 06/12/2017 04:07
What type of peel? Light, medium, or deep?
by Geetha.adhavan on 08/07/2017 11:34
Which scar fading cream u r using??
Didn't work for me.
Reviewed on February 9, 2017

I was really really excited to try this. I even bought 5 different chemical peels "sample size" to try on my face. In case if one won't work at least the others will do !!. of course, u have to be very careful with this and start with low percentage if u want to try it on yourself at home. actually the peels came with clear and easy instructions to follow. I bought the mandelic acid 40% and 4 others. I tried the mandelic for almost 1 month and half. and i was getting breakouts everywhere. i was telling myself this is the purging effect and i was expecting it and ready emotionally and physically for it. then i started getting acne on my forehead, my temples and near to my mouth. i rarely get acne on those areas. so i was like what is happening! . i was really hopping that this could work it's magic and tadaaa clear skin.. but no !. so i just stopped using it.. i tried two other different peels and the exact same thing happened. it might be just my face doesn't react nicly to chemical peels or the brand. I don't know. However, once I stopped using it my face returned to its normal state with the same amount of acne i was previously getting. so if u want to try this, i would say go for it. it might work for u. but keep an eye on your face. if it gets worse and worse even after 6 to 8 weeks just discontinue using it.

plez note; that the chemical peels did remove some old dead skin layers.


skin type: oily / very sensitive skin type with some rosacea bumps appearing after using somthing that is not suitable for me..

not really worth it for cystic/hormonal acne :/
Reviewed on April 24, 2016

I've gotten a chemical peel twice and both times have really done nothing much except for the areas where I didn't have any acne anyway

Basically, if you wanna get rid of scars or huge pores or black/white heads, then yeah, by all means this works.

It did dry up the pimples and cystic acne I had, and it came off, however, after those were peeled off, I saw brand new ones underneath. Like yes, it'll take your current pimples out, but if you consistently get acne, then there would be new ones underneath.

Basically, after both times, my skin still wasn't anything close to being clear. As tempting as it is I do not want to go through a week of that again. Not quite worth it

Great for ice pick scars
Reviewed on March 11, 2016

I had several ice pick scars treated with deep tca peels. It worked. My rolling and box car scars I have yet to treat. The downside about high strength TCA peels is that it took 5 days to heal.

My skin was pink for a few weeks, but by the 4th or 5th week, my scars were definitely shallower. Would recommend this treatment.

great at clearing acne
Reviewed on January 17, 2016

I've been using a 30% salicylic acid peel once a week for about 3 months now. I remember the first time I used it, I thought it was an absolute miracle product! All my acne had practically dried out and was gone the next day, my skin was not oily whats so ever and the overall texture of my skin just looked amazing. These amazing results lasted for a while but soon enough it was like my skin just got used to it. While I still have acne, it definitely isn't as bad as it was which I think is the result of these peels! I probably need to go up to to 35 or 40% to get better results once again but with almost a whole bottle of the 30% left, I want to try and use that up a bit more. I'd definitely recommend anyone suffering from acne to try a salicylic acid peel. Just make sure you follow the directions that come with your peel 100% as you don't want to end up with a chemical burn or something even worse! If you have really sensitive skin also make sure you start of low on a 10 or 15% peel then go up from there gradually as your skin gets used to it.

Don't do a peel if you have freckles!
Reviewed on September 29, 2015

I had a TCA chemical peel 5 years ago to help even out my rolling acne scars on my forehead and cheeks. I have a ton of freckles and was concerned that the procedure would get rid of them. I was informed that it would soften them but that the pigment is still in my skin so they will come back when I'm exposed to the sun. It has been 5 years now and my freckles still aren't fully back. It looks like I have horrible discoloration! The worse part is that the freckles are still visible below my eyes and around my mouth because they didn't do the peel below the first layer of skin. It just looks terrible. So if you have freckles, DO NOT get a TCA chemical peel. It's just not worth it. (The peel helped the rolling acne scars for about 6 months and then was right back to where it was before)

Pretty happy with the results
Reviewed on August 19, 2015

I've and am currently using a Glycolic acid 50% regiment (9 trials so far) and have to say am quite satisfied with the results. Not only has the product helped with my acne scars, but has improved my complexion overall. My acne isn't as prominent as it used to be, which is great.The fan brush and chemical peel only cost me $20.00 on amazon, so its quite cheap. A bottle will last at least 3-4 months. The only downside is the pain; if you have sensitive skin it really hurts. Exposure time is between 3-10 minutes so you're just looking at the clock anticipating applying the water/baking soda mixture to cool your face off. But once you've tried it a couple of times and you're skin adjusts, you'll be fine. Very important that you apply a sunscreen (I use SPF 60) after using the product, your skin is much more sensitive to UV light. Also don't pick or touch your skin.

Results were not immediate.
Reviewed on July 27, 2015

I am 29 and have been battling acne for more than 10 years due to pcos. I came off birth control pills about 2 years ago and needed some alternative treatment as a preventive measure. My concerns now are oily skin, some discolourations and occasional breakouts. The derm suggested alternating between microdermabrasion and light chemical peels every four weeks. I did not see any difference at all till the third chemical peel and this was about four months after I started this programme. The derm also gave me 10% AHA cream and acne gel to apply every night, which also didn't do much for my skin. In fact I thought my skin was looking especially dull during this period. Everybody also told me the same. I am however quite pleased with the results after the recent chemical peel. I am happy I continued going for the treatments but I wonder if it is normal to see results until much later since my peels were light? My skin now is radiant, the discoloration and most of the milia seeds are gone and no blocked pores.

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