5 Things to Know About Using Chemical Peels for Acne and Scars

Using a chemical peel to reduce acne and remove acne scars is a smart idea. In fact, chemical peels were performed over 600,000 times last year, making them the fifth most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure of 2016. And they’re wildly popular for good reason. Chemical peels not only help reduce acne and can last for up to months at a time, but deep peels have been shown to be up to 75% effective at reducing long-term acne scarring.

Check out the top 5 things you need to know about using chemical peels for acne and scars below! Don’t forget to contact us today if you want the premier chemical peel dermatologists in South Florida to help you.


There are Different Types of Chemical Peels

The first thing we need to look at are the different types of chemical peels. These vary from the different acids and astringents used in the peel itself to the depth of the peel.

The different types of chemical peels include: TCA peels, glycolic peels, Jessner peels, salicylic acid peels, lactic acid peels, polyhydroxy acid peels, pyruvic acid peels, phenol peels, and more. Each of these have their particular strengths and drawbacks. Some are at home (glycolic peels, for instance) and some are in-office (TCA and phenol peels).


The Different Depths of Chemical Peels

The depth of different chemical peels can be broadly broken down into three levels: superficial, moderate, and deep.

Superficial peels are often used to help treat moderate acne. They include glycolic acid and salicylic acid peels. The concentration of these acids is usually around 30%, which means you can administer them at home, in an esthetician’s office, or in a dermatologist’s office.

Moderate peels are often used to treat acne and may help with scarring as well. Moderate depth peels can include TCA peels, Jessner peels, and lactic acid peels, among others. The acid in these peels varies from between 35 to 50%. Due to this concentration, it’s advisable to have them administered in a dermatologist’s office.

Deep peels are often used to treat acne scars and, as the name suggests, a bit more serious than superficial and moderate peels. They include phenol peels and have an acid concentration of up to 88%. They should only be administered in a dermatologist’s office.


The Cost of Peels

Due to the widely varied types of chemical peels, there isn’t a set price. So much depends on the chemicals used in the peel and the depth of the peel. You also have to factor in whether you want an at home peel or an in-office peel.

Due to this wide disparity, chemical peels can range from $150 to upwards of $5,000. The average cost of an in-office peel is approximately $500.


At Home vs. In-Office Chemical Peels

The age-old debate between at home or in-office peels depends primarily on the depth and strength of the peel you want. Superficial peels, and even some moderate peels, as well as peels which have a smaller concentration of active acids are usually done at home. Deep peels and peels with higher concentration of acids are usually done at an office.


There are Side Effects

Here’s the bad news! Despite their effectiveness and results, chemical peels do have side effects. These can range from things like redness, burning, stinging, and sensitivity (all common side effects of glycolic acid peels), to the much more severe.

Deep chemical peels can result in bleeding, swelling, and skin lightening (or other discoloration). These can also last for up to six months.

The range of side effects is an important reason to seek a professional consultation before going ahead with any sort of chemical peel. Contact us today to book your consultation with the expert and experienced team at Elias Derm!

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