Glycolic Chemical Peel

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). These are naturally occurring, non-toxic, organic acids. In high concentration (40-70%) they are useful as superficial peeling agents.

What are the indications for a Glycolic Acid Peel?

Glycolic acid peels are very useful for freshening and rejuvenation of the skin. Glycolic acid peels improve skin texture, sallowness, mottled pigmentation, fine lines and acne.

How are they applied?

After preparing the facial skin with degreasing agents, the glycolic acid is applied to the face. It is left on for two minutes (occasionally longer) and then neutralized. Glycolic acid causes a tolerable stinging sensation, which stops when neutralized. If the sensation becomes intolerable, it may be neutralized at any time.

How often are the peels performed?

Glycolic acid peels should be repeated every two to four weeks until satisfactory results are achieved. This usually involves a series of six peels.

The number of glycolic acid peels the patient may receive is unlimited. Regardless of the indication for the peel, maintenance is required.

Patients have the option of returning for additional peels at an interval they perceive to be necessary to keep their problem under optimal control.

The average return rate for glycolic acid peels is twice per year.

Are Glycolic Acid Peels safe?

Since they produce only a superficial peel, glycolic acid peels have a very good safety profile. Initially, there will be some redness which normally resolves within a few hours. There is potential for lightening or darkening of the skin, but this rarely occurs.

Some patients experience no redness; the occasional patient will develop more pronounced redness, swelling and crusting. A mild topical steroid cream may be applied, and the reaction will subside.

Most patients return home, to normal activities, or return to work immediately after the peel. Minor adjustment in cosmetics and care of the skin is required following the peel. Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun for several weeks after the peel. Regular sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) use is required.


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