Chemical Peels: Part 3

Using chemical peels to treat acne |

Part 3: Chemical Peels as an Acne Treatment

Along with evening out skin tone and improving fine wrinkles, some dermatologists offer chemical peels as part of an acne treatment program, where the chemical peels are used in conjunction with topical acne products. For example, my dermatologist put me on Differin gel at night and Clindamycin in the morning, with a glycolic peel every two weeks. (For more information about my experience, check here.)

The idea behind using chemical peels to treat acne is that they help shed the outer layer of your skin faster. That way, the gunk trapped inside your pore will come to the surface more quickly. The acids in chemical peel solutions can also help dry up active acne and dissolve sebum and clogs. In general, peels smooth out your skin and fade red acne marks, so even if they don't treat active acne, they may help your skin look better overall.

If you are using chemical peels for acne, be warned that the peels can make your skin worse in the beginning as they exfoliate your skin and bring stuff from the inside to the surface. Many people actually experience tiny breakouts after getting peels done, whether they are using them for acne or not, so it's wise to not get a peel right before a big event. This "purging" process usually subsides after approximately 3 treatment sessions.

Many people use chemical peels because they think they will get better results faster. However, as an acne treatment, chemical peels will still take at least 2 months (with multiple peels) to start working. You need that amount of time for your skin to "purge", adjust, and renew itself. Unfortunately, chemical peels simply aren't the quick-fixes for acne that everyone wishes them to be.

Chemical peels simply complement other acne treatments. They don't really prevent breakouts from happening, but tend to speed breakouts along. And the best way to treat acne is to prevent acne. Therefore chemical peels are better used for treating red marks and pigmentation issues instead of active acne itself.

In my opinion, if you want to treat acne, you're better off using a daily topical product instead of getting monthly peels. While chemical peels can help, I don't think they are worth it as an acne treatment. Even if you do get a peel and it helps with acne, you'll have to continue getting the peels in order to keep getting the results.

Chemical peels fade marks and scars, but if you still get acne, you will still have red marks and scars to fade. It's best to figure out what works for your active acne and then use chemical peels to get rid of any leftover marks. Besides, chemical peels are expensive, so it's best to spend that money only when it's worth it.

Whether chemical peels are used for acne or anti-aging, all types of chemical peels come with warnings and side effects. Did you know not all people can use chemical peels? Did you know you can seriously damage your skin with a chemical peel? Or if you don't take care of your skin after a peel?

Read the next section for more information about the side effects and dangers of chemical peels.

Last updated: September 20, 2012

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Part 4: Side Effects and Warnings for Chemical Peels