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Doctors at Boston’s top Medical Spa give their expert insight on the best chemical peels for acne scars.

Despite our best efforts at keeping our skin clean and avoiding picking pimples, sometimes acne scars are inevitable. These pesky scars can be really bothersome and are often hard to get rid of. Chemical peels can provide an effective way of banishing acne scars. This is because they remove the top layer of unhealthy and scarred skin cells from your face, allowing them to be replaced with healthier and smoother cells.

What is a chemical peel? Chemical peel facts

A chemical peel is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment which uses chemicals to improve the tone and texture of your skin, fight signs of aging and minimise the appearance of skin imperfections.

A chemical peel is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment which uses chemicals to improve the tone and texture of your skin, fight signs of aging and minimise the appearance of skin imperfections. There are 3 different types of peel available, superficial, medium and deep, referring to the strength of the treatment.

These different types of chemical peel treatments each have specific benefits for the treatment of acne scars. Examples of these treatment types are:

Superficial peels

  • Glycolic acid peel – a glycolic acid peel is a superficial treatment, targeting only the outer layer of skin cells. This helps to brighten and freshen the skin underneath. A glycolic acid peel can also reduce the appearance of acne scars and even out your skin tone
  • Salicylic acid peel – these work in a similar way to glycolic acid peels however salicylic acid is better at penetrating the skin. Salicylic acid is lipid soluble, whereas glycolic acid is water soluble. This means that a salicylic acid peel can be much more effective on oily and acne prone skin

Medium peel

  • Trichloracetic acid (TCA) peel – a TCA peel is considered to be a medium strength peel and therefore requires less recovery time than deeper peels. These peels are available in various different strengths, allowing your treatment provider to target them for your individual goals. TCA peels can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the appearance of skin irregularities, acne scars and sun damage

Deep peel

  • Phenol peel – a phenol peel is the most powerful type of chemical peel available and must therefore be carried out under the direct supervision of a board certified doctor. The chemicals used in this peel penetrate deeply into the skin, through the epidermis and down into the dermis layer underneath. Because of the strength of this peel, it can be used to successfully improve the appearance of pitted acne scars on the face. A phenol peel has a prolonged recovery time and can be associated with a variety of side effects, such as infection and discolouration

With the option of all of these different treatments it is important that you choose the right chemical peel for your skin type and the goals that you wish to achieve. Our doctors at Evolution MedSpa Boston will be happy to talk you through the different types of chemical peels available and help you to make an informed choice. All treatments at Evolution MedSpa Boston are carried out by a highly qualified and experienced, board certified doctor. This can give you the reassurance that you are in the best possible hands throughout your chemical peel.

Are chemical peels painful?

This question is asked frequently by patients considering a chemical peel. A big misconception about chemical peel treatments is that they are painful and can burn the skin, causing redness and soreness.

Will I have a burning sensation after my chemical peel?

A chemical peel is considered to be a routine cosmetic treatment, which is typically pain free. However, everybody’s skin is unique and those with more sensitive skin may notice a slight tingling sensation during the treatment, which should quickly subside.

Strong peels, such as a phenol peel, are more likely to cause discomfort than superficial ones. Your doctor may prescribe a mild painkiller to take in the days immediately after your strong chemical peel to help with any discomfort.

Can a chemical peel cause an adverse reaction?

Chemical peels are associated with some adverse effects, but these are usually self-limiting. This includes some localized redness, a stinging or burning feeling, mild swelling and dryness.

Rarely, chemical peels can lead to some more permanent side effects, such as discolouration of the skin, scarring or infection.

Post chemical peel breakouts – why you shouldn’t be popping pimples after a chemical peel

It is common to experience a breakout after having a chemical peel, this is often referred to as a purging phase. This happens as toxins and bacteria are brought up to the surface of the skin.

It is common to experience a breakout after having a chemical peel, this is often referred to as a purging phase. This happens as toxins and bacteria are brought up to the surface of the skin. It is actually a good sign as it shows that your pores are being unclogged and that embedded dirt and dead skin cells are being removed. The chances of a breakout will lessen if you get regular chemical peels.

It is important to try and avoid popping any pimples that develop as this can introduce more bacteria to the pores and risk more scarring.

How long do chemical peel results last?

If you are considering having a chemical peel to help with your acne scars, you are probably wondering how long the results will last for. Well this very much depends on which type of chemical peel you are looking to get.

As light peels only penetrate the outer layers of skin, their effects are temporary and typically last for around 1 or 2 months. Medium and deep peels penetrate deeper and therefore give longer lasting results. The results obtained from a medium or deep chemical peel may last for a year or even longer.

How much do chemical peels cost?

The cost of a chemical peel varies depending on the type of treatment that you wish to have, although prices typically start at around $150.

Contact Evolution MedSpa now to book your initial consultation. During this consultation our doctors can devise an individual treatment plan for you and provide you with a detailed overview of the pricing for this. Start your journey to healthier looking skin today!