Chemical Peels for Acne: How Do They Work?

Aug 05, 2022
Chemical Peels for Acne: How Do They Work?
A comprehensive acne treatment plan has two goals: Clear up pimples and prevent future breakouts, leaving you with a brighter, healthier complexion. Here’s how the occasional light chemical peel treatment can help you achieve those goals.

If you live with chronic breakouts or blemishes, you’re not alone. In the United States, up to 80% of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 11 and 30 have some degree of acne, and many adults experience pimples or breakouts well into middle age. 

No matter your age, frequent acne breakouts can cause significant psychological stress and take a major toll on your skin. Untreated, persistent acne can lead to permanent skin discoloration and acne scars.

Luckily, our expert team of board-certified dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates can help you clear your skin, put an end to chronic breakouts, and avoid skin damage. For some people, light chemical peels can be a valuable part of a comprehensive acne treatment plan. 

Read on as we explore chemical peels and how they help treat acne. 

Understanding acne 

Acne develops when skin pores become clogged with hair follicles, oil (sebum), and dead skin cells, leading to the development of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, or pustules (pimples). 

Whether it appears on the face, neck, chest, back, or shoulders, acne can become inflamed or turn into painful cysts when p. Acnes — the bacteria that naturally exist on the surface of your skin — get inside the oil-clogged pores and multiply.

The importance of treating acne 

Acne can seem like a never-ending skin problem — just as one breakout or pimple clears up, a new one emerges. While you may want to allow each breakout to run its course, untreated acne can go on for years or sometimes decades, elevating your chances of suffering permanent skin damage, including visible scarring and dark spots. 

Prevent damage

To prevent skin damage, begin a customized acne treatment protocol as early as possible. Acne can’t be cured, but you can minimize and keep it under control for as long as it endures.

Protect your skin

Effective acne treatment takes a personalized, comprehensive approach that combines custom skin care recommendations with oral medication, helpful lifestyle adjustments, anti-acne dietary changes, and periodic in-office treatments. With mild to moderate acne, an occasional light chemical peel may be part of your overall skin care plan.

Chemical peels explained

As one of the most effective cosmetic skin care treatments, chemical peels are a great go-to solution when looking for a quick and easy way to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and other common signs of skin aging.

But dermatologists can also use customized chemical peels to help manage certain skin conditions, including cases of mild to moderate non-inflammatory acne. 

How a chemical peel works

A chemical peel is clinical skin care that elevates your natural exfoliation and renewal processes to the next level through the skilled application and timely removal of a chemical solution that gently peels, or exfoliates, damaged skin layers.

Depending on how many layers of skin a chemical peel penetrates and exfoliates measures the depth of the peel’s action (light, medium, or deep) along with other factors, including its ingredients, application, and how long it sits on your skin before being removed.

All chemical peels work to exfoliate dead skin cells, lift away damaged layers, and trigger the rapid regeneration of new, healthy epidermal tissues. Deeper peels correct more extensive damage, like severe hyperpigmentation or acne scars. 

Light chemical peels for acne

When managing acne, a light chemical peel offers a safe, rapid, non-irritating exfoliation of the outermost skin layer. By shedding dead skin cells more fully and effectively, these superficial “lunchtime” peels help clear your pores of debris, smooth out your skin tone, and prevent future blockages and breakouts. 

Light peels for acne care use a variety of powerful peeling agents, ranging from glycolic acid and beta hydroxy to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. 

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) dissolve excess oil buildup within the pores, while benzoyl peroxide helps reduce bacteria, clear pores, and increase cell turnover. Salicylic acid helps shed epidermal cells, clear clogged pores, and neutralize bacteria while constricting pore diameter.

Treat your acne, boost your skin 

As part of a comprehensive acne treatment plan, the occasional light chemical peel can give you a clearer complexion as it smooths, tightens, and brightens your skin. Even better, this quick and gentle treatment has minimal downtime and can be repeated every few weeks to keep your face looking fresh and healthy through every season. 

If you have questions about chemical peels for acne management, we have answers. Call our nearest Florida Dermatology Associates office today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule a visit any time. We have five locations in Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, and Titusville, Florida.