Salicylic Acid Peel

What is a salicylic acid peel?

Over the years, a salicylic acid peel has become a go-to procedure for patients who want to get rid of superficial blemishes that mar the surface of the skin and take away from the overall appearance. This procedure makes use of salicylic acid, not only to initiate a peeling action on the skin, but also to reduce oil production and unclog the pores of the skin to help give patients clearer and younger looking complexion. The use of this beta-hydroxy acid ensures that the procedure is mild enough for use even for patients with sensitive skin, and is often an alternative to be equally beneficial glycolic acid peel.

Why should I consider a salicylic acid peel?

It is an established fact that sounds like acid is highly effective for use certain skin conditions such as excessively oily and acne prone skin. It can clear clogged pores to help prevent seborrheic dermatitis. Dr. Scott Mosser also emphasizes a that availing of a salicylic acid peel from your dermatologist will also ensure that you are getting the proper concentration of salicylic acid needed to effect the proper peeling process, thereby producing the results that you desire to achieve. This type of treatment has also been found to be beneficial for patients with sensitive, dehydrated, dry, sun damaged, or dull skin. Gradually nursing the damaged skin back to health so that it glows with a renewed vitality. Additionally, a properly administered treatment can help reduce the occurrence of psoriasis, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles across the skin, significantly less inflammation due to acne, and even prevent the proliferation of ingrown hairs.

How is a salicylic acid peel performed?

  1. Before the salicylic acid is applied onto the patient’s skin, its strength must be chosen carefully to ensure that only the proper concentration is used during the procedure. Usually, the potency of the salicylic acid solution and range between 10 to 30%, depending upon the extent of the peeling that the procedure aims to achieve.

  2. When the proper concentration has been determined, the indicated treatment areas will be primed using a specific solution that will be allowed to dry on the skin.

  3. The salicylic acid will then be applied gently onto the skin, and it will be left on for about three minutes. During this time, the patient may experience some level of discomfort that is usually associated with a stinging or itching sensation.

  4. After the recommended amount of time, the salicylic acid will be neutralized and cleansed off of the patient’s skin using water or an alternative cleansing solution. After this step, the skin will exhibit a certain degree of redness and sensitivity, but this condition should get better within a few hours after the treatment.

  5. A soothing preparation containing sunscreen will, finally, be applied onto the treated areas to protect and moisturize the skin.

What should I do after the salicylic acid peel treatment?

After a salicylic acid keel, the skin will begin to flake off within two days from the initial application. The peeling will last for up to seven days on average, and longer in some instances, depending upon the potency of the salicylic acid used during the procedure. During the peeling stage the patient’s skin will be highly sensitive and it is recommended that sun exposure is kept at the very minimum, and the use of sunscreen is highly encouraged as well. Broad-spectrum protection from a sunscreen preparation with high SPF and a zinc oxide component will ensure that the skin is protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. It is also important to know that the patient may experience an acne episode during the healing period because, as the exfoliation progresses, the underlying dirt and oil that have built up within the pores begin to get uncovered and are usually manifested as pimples.

How much downtime is required with my salicylic acid peel?

There is very minimal downtime associated with a salicylic acid peel. Most cases, the skin heels and recovers normally within 3 to 4 days, with the only major side effects being redness and flaking at the treatment sites, which are not drastic enough to warrant skipping normal activities for taking time off from work.

When will I see the results of my salicylic acid peel?

In general, it may take about 4 to 6 salicylic acid peel sessions before the desired results are achieved. In truth, the number treatments that each patient will need before this skin starts to show some significant improvement will vary depending on the type and severity of the particular skin condition that is being addressed. For example, the removal of blackheads may yield results after only two or three salicylic acid peels, but more serious acne conditions may require up to six successive treatments before the improvements are evident. Ideally, patients can receive the salicylic acid peel once in two weeks, but if they the skin condition requires more aggressive treatment then it can be done once a week until the desired results are achieved.