What is a Glycolic Acid Peel?
Dr. Scott Mosser tells his San Francisco patients that if they are looking for a milder alternative to the more abrasive chemical peels that are being used in the cosmetic industry, then a glycolic acid peel could be the one that works for them since this is the one of the most gentle acting peels that is being used to fight skin blemishes. This is mostly due to the fact that glycolic acid is a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid that is found in sugar cane and fruits.
How does a Glycolic Acid Peel work?
When used for this type of treatment, the glycolic acid is applied directly onto the patient’s skin and left on for a specified amount of time, depending on the concentration of the acid used. As the acid is left to penetrate the layers of the skin, it gently breaks its underlying bonds, and this results to the peeling action. Because it is very mild, a glycolic acid peel produces subtle changes in the patient’s complexion that, over time, helps to reduce the visible signs of sun damage and other external factors. In fact, the patient’s skin will continue to peel several days after the initial treatment to gradually uncover clearer skin.
Why should I consider getting a glycolic acid peel?
Because of the constant exposure of the skin to the sun, dirt, humidity, and other environmental factors, it will appear to become dry, wrinkled, brittle, and otherwise damaged overtime. The purpose of getting a glycolic acid peel is to remove the outermost layer of the skin where these signs of damage are the most prominent. Getting rid of the sunspots, fine lines, and other skin blemishes on this layer will help promote a younger looking appearance while also producing softer and healthier-looking skin with improved skin tone and overall enhanced texture.
What happens during a glycolic acid peel?
Before the actual glycolic acid treatment, the skin on the indicated areas of treatment is thoroughly cleansed in preparation for the glycolic acid application.
The glycolic acid peeling preparation will then be gently massaged onto the surface of the patient’s skin, applied much like a facial mask, and left there for the specified amount of time necessary for it to exerts action. During this time, patients will normally feel a slight pricking sensation as the acid starts to break the underlying bonds of the skin that will allow it to peel.
After the time requirement is reached, the acid is gently cleansed off of the patient’s skin. This treatment is recommended to be used in a series of applications, administered weekly to achieve the best results.
What should I expect after my Glycolic Acid Peel?
Immediately after the initial treatment with a glycolic acid peel, the patient’s skin we will exhibit a little redness and feel slightly tingly. After a few days, the skin will begin to peel and is expected to become flaky as the dead skin starts to come off, indicating cell renewal. At this point, doctors offer several recommendations to ensure that the healing process goes smoothly.
Patients often find it hard to resist the urge to pick on their flaky skin, but doctors recommend leaving the peeling skin alone since it is highly sensitive at this stage and could result in scarring and infection when it becomes damaged or injured out the patients peel the skin away themselves.
Although the glycolic acid peel is very mild, there are instances in some patients may feel a prickly sensation during the recovery period. If this happens, a cold compress may be applied directly onto the irritated skin to soothe the patient’s discomfort.
Typically, a newly treated face is to be left alone, but it may already be washed about two days after the initial treatment. Using warm water and a very mild soap is recommended over other skin products that may contain substances that could potentially irritate the skin.
It is very important to keep your skin moisturized after a glycolic acid peel treatment because it will leave your skin dry, and excessive dryness and cracking could lead to scarring. Use a mild moisturizer that does not contain anti-acne or anti-aging components.
After a glycolic acid peel, patients will be advised to minimize their sun exposure until the skin has healed completely. It should take about two weeks before they can Resume their normal outdoor activities without the immediate threat of damaging their freshly peeled skin. Even then, that use of sunscreen is highly advisable to help give your skin an extra layer of protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
Can anyone get a glycolic acid peel?
Despite the fact that glycolic acid peels are very mild, patients with a history of kidney failure, or who have been taking medication for a similar condition, may not be considered for this type of treatment. Consult your doctor to ensure that this skin treatment is suitable for you.