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Skin Care

Skin Care – Chemical Peels For Acne Scars

If you have tried several other methods to get rid of acne scars and had no real results, consider chemical peels for acne scars. Chemical peels remove the top layer of dead skin to reveal the fresh, scarless skin underneath. To get rid of acne scars completely, you may need a series of treatments to see the full effect.

You can carry out the procedure at your dermatologist or local beauty spa but the cost of treatments can add up. The acids used for chemical peels are available to the public and you can safely carry out the procedure yourself at home. There are many different acids available for chemical peels and not all are recommended for use at home. Some acids are stronger than others and it is recommended that beginners start out with the mildest type and work their way up.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are used for chemical peels. BHAs generally are milder than AHAs and include salicylic acid, which can be found in many face washes, toners and moisturizers targeted to acne prone skin. AHAs include lactic acid and glycolic acid and they are particularly effective at removing the top layer of dead skin. Trichloroethanoic acid (TCA) is neither an AHA nor a BHA but it is commonly used for skin peels. TCA is much stronger than AHAs or BHAs and is not recommended for beginners to use at home.

Lactic acid is the mildest of the chemical peel acids and a good option for beginners. For acne scars, it is recommended that a beginner starts off with no more than 40% concentration. For best results, perform the peel every week or every 2 weeks until you have had about 4-6 treatments.

Glycolic acid is also popular for chemical peels for acne scars. Glycolic acid is stronger than lactic acid so beginners should start with a low concentration such as 20% and then gradually work their way up. Alternatively, beginners can carry out the procedure at a dermatologist’s office.

Salicylic acid peels are generally not used for acne scars but used to treat acne itself. It is possible to alternate glycolic peels and salicylic acid peels to treat acne and the scars.

TCA is the strongest acid mentioned in this article. It is recommended that you have tried several peels with one of the other acids before trying a TCA peel. Concentrations over 35% are not recommended for home use as there is a real possibility of scarring if not carried out properly.

When carrying out chemical peels at home take care and follow the instructions very carefully. Always carry out a patch test on a small area before doing a full peel. Careless mistakes can cause burning and scarring which go against exactly what you are trying to achieve!