As patients get older, they search for treatments that help them look younger by providing a rejuvenated appearance to the face. One of the most popular methods is the use of glycolic acid peels AKA light chemical peels. This non-invasive treatment uses glycolic acid to rejuvenate the skin by removing dead skin cells and this allows newer skin to come through on the face of the patient.
Cosmetic Town recently took a closer look at the benefits of glycolic acid peels:
This type of peel is gentle and is a good treatment option for fine lines, acne and uneven pigmentation. The amount of chemical solution in the peel depends on the needs of the individual patient. The price depends on the area of the country where the treatment is performed, the amount of chemical solution used in the peel and any fees charged by the doctor or the facility. In general, the cost is anywhere from $100-$250.
Good candidates for glycolic acid peels include patients that want to reduce the natural signs of aging on the face or want to unclog their pores where acne is located. It is also a good treatment for patients with acne scars and fine lines as well as anyone with an uneven skin tone or skin damaged by the sun.
Before the glycolic acid peel is placed on the skin of the patient, the skin is cleansed to prepare it for the treatment. The peel is applied to the targeted area and there will be a tingling or stinging sensation felt by the patient. Once the peel has been on the skin for the designated amount of time, it is removed using water and then a soothing lotion is applied to the treated area.
For patients looking for deeper peels that penetrate the skin further than a light chemical peel, there are other chemical peel options available to them.
Medium peels can penetrate the skin more deeply and they treat mild to moderate wrinkles, pigment changes and long-term sun damage. Medium peels are only performed on the face and use trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
Deep peels work to penetrate several layers of skin and they treat pronounced pigment changes, skin that has long-term damage from the sun and severe wrinkles. They contain a chemical called phenol and can only be used on the face.
There is little to no recovery time for patients after having a glycolic acid peel. Since the peel does not penetrate beneath the dermis, many patients have the treatment on their lunch hour and go back to work. There might be some redness or pinkness but it will look much like sunburn to others viewing the skin. Patients should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun until the redness has gone away. Sunblock can help protect the skin from the sun since it will be more susceptible to suffering burns after the peel.
The results of a glycolic acid peel will be seen immediately by a patient since it only impacts the upper layer of the skin. The pores will be tighter and the treated skin will look brighter and younger. The final results only last for 3 or 4 weeks so patients will need to have follow-up treatments in order to maintain their results.
Even though there are few risks involved with using glycolic acid peels, patients should be aware of a few common side effects. They include skin pinkness and redness, peeling and an increased sensitivity to sunlight. Patients will also experience swelling and burning and peeling of the skin.
Glycolic acid peels provide patients with a younger and more rejuvenated appearance to their face. Even though they will see some immediate improvement, they should plan on having a series of treatments to get a greater improvement in the texture of the skin as well as the overall brightness and quality of the skin. Anyone interested in having the treatment should consult with a board-certified doctor that has a good amount of experience in performing glycolic acid peel treatments.