Salicylic Acid Peel and Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin problems that affect people, regardless of gender. While I was still teaching piano, some of my students who were just in their teens already had acne. I used to think that it only affected older people. Acne may not be as serious as cancer or heart problems, but people should really put much attention to it especially since the affected area is highly visible like the face. Acne is a troublesome skin problem because it can cause a noticeable blemish on the skin aside from the fact that it can be painful especially for the nodular acne.

While there are creams that claim to be effective in acne removal, some cases go out of hand, such that a more aggressive treatment would be necessary. One treatment I know of is the salicylic acid peel. But many people may not be familiar about this form of treatment.

Salicylic acid peels are categorized under beta hydroxyl peel which is considered to be stronger and more penetrating peels. This form of acne treatment is suitable for most types of skin but it is said to be more effective in people with oily skin. It can also treat a wide range of skin problems including clogged pores, blackheads, acne and congested skin. However, if you have aspirin allergy, this treatment is not suitable for you.

Most salicylic acid peels are just 15 percent in strength. And before it is applied, a primer should first be applied on the skin to remove any residual oil. When the prep solution dries, it is followed by the application of salicylic acid. The peel will remain on the skin for a preset time before it will be gently removed with water or cleanser. The peel normally feels prickly and warm on the skin. Sometimes, it may even cause redness and discomfort. It is important to remove the peel even before the preset time is finished if you can no longer tolerate the pain.

After the peel is removed, post-peel redness may still linger for several hours or days for some people. You may also notice your skin to become flaky and dry. Some light peeling may also occur. But unlike other acne treatments such as laser treatment and TCA peels, the use of salicylic acid has no significant downtime. The skin normally heals and returns to normal after three days. Also, it has no major side effects except for flaking and redness. But this is important to keep in mind to avoid direct exposure to sunlight especially during the first two days after undergoing the peel, since the skin is more sensitive to the sun during these days.

The acid peel using salicylic acid may have varying effects on different people. Some people will take more than 6 peels before they would see results while others need less. But generally, if the acne is moderate to severe, it will take 5-6 peels to see results.

I have not personally undergone any type of acid peel for acne problem. But based on what I heard from friends, it is one of the effective remedies for acne.