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Glycolic Acid Peel


A glycolic acid peel (or light chemical peel) is a non–invasive treatment that removes the upper layers of dead and damaged skin and encourages skin cell regeneration. This type of peel provides gentle treatment for fine lines, acne, chronic dry skin, and uneven pigmentation. The formulation of the chemical solution used in a light chemical peel depends on the needs of the individual patient.


What is a Glycolic Acid Peel?


Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that occurs naturally in sugar cane, is the most common ingredient of light chemical peels. The ingredients and formulation of a light chemical peel, however, depend upon the specific patient's skin care needs. With light chemical peels, the chemical solution is left on the skin for a relatively short amount of time.

When applied to the face or another part of the body, the AHA chemical peel solution works by removing the outer layers of skin so that a new, smooth layer of skin is revealed. The action of the chemical solution stimulates the production of elastin and collagen, essential components of healthy, youthful skin.

Candidates for Glycolic Acid Peels

Good candidates for glycolic acid peels (a light chemical peel) are patients who have relatively mild skin imperfections and conditions, and who want to rejuvenate and enhance the appearance of their skin without the recovery time of harsher treatments. Glycolic acid peels (AHA chemical peels) are a safe and effective way to improve the look of sun–damaged skin, and they are helpful in reducing mild acne scars and fine lines. Because these light chemical peels exfoliate the surface of the skin and unclog pores, they are also considered and effective type of chemical peel for acne treatment.

Glycolic Acid Peel Application

In preparation for a glycolic acid peel, the patient's skin is first gently cleansed. Then the chemical solution is applied to the targeted areas. The specific formulation and concentration of the glycolic acid (AHA) solution depend on the patient's needs.

An anesthetic is unnecessary for light chemical peels. As the chemical solution works on the skin, the patient will typically feel a warm tingling or stinging sensation. After the chemical solution has been on the skin for the prescribed amount of time, Dr. Tanne will apply a de–activating solution to wash away the peel, and then apply soothing skin care products and sunscreen.

The entire process of a glycolic acid peel usually takes less about 30 minutes or less, and the patient typically experiences little or no skin redness or other side effects. After a glycolic acid peel, patients can return to daily activities immediately. A series treatments is recommended to achieve optimal results.

Glycolic Peel Recovery

Glycolic acid peels require no recovery time. Though your skin may be flake mildly or be slightly irritated after a glycolic acid peel (or, AHA chemical peel), you should be able to return to work or everyday activities almost immediately after treatment.

After your peel, Dr. Tanne will give you guidelines to follow to help ensure the success of your treatment. Generally, patients are instructed to use a gentle cleanser and specified moisturizing lotion, and to avoid exposing the treated skin to the sun.

Following your Glycolic Acid peel, you will notice that the treated skin has improved tone, texture, and pigmentation. You should see further improvement as your course of treatments progresses.

Are Multiple Glycolic Acid Peels Required to Achieve Desired Results?

Unlike deep chemical peels, which require only one session, patients generally undergo a series of six glycolic acid chemical peels to achieve optimal results. To learn about the ideal treatment for your particular skin enhancement needs, it is best to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tanne.