Here’s What a Chemical Peel Can Do for Your Acne Scars

Despite the slightly scary sounding name — chemical and peel don’t exactly sound like what you might want on your face — chemical peels are actually one of the best treatments you can undergo to treat stubborn acne scars. 

In case you’re not convinced by the incredible before-and-after photos of chemical peel clients, this guide exists to get you on the glowy-skin bandwagon. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chemical peels for acne scars. 

What do chemical peels do? 

Fun fact: Chemical peels do involve chemicals, but they don’t really involve peeling of skin. Instead, chemical peels consist of a solution that deeply exfoliates the outer layer of your skin. This causes the dead skin cells on your top layer of skin to rapidly shed, revealing the new, smooth layer underneath. On top of the exfoliation, chemical peels induce new collagen production, an important protein that makes up about 75% of your skin and keeps it looking young, tight, and fresh. 

How do chemical peels work for acne scars? 

Chemical peels reduce the appearance of acne scars by reducing overall hyperpigmentation, or areas of your skin with deeper or darker color. Chemical peels also smooth the outer surface of your skin, reducing any bumpy textures. 

The exact mechanism of a chemical peel on your acne scars depends on the severity of your scarring, as well as the type of scarring. There are two types of acne scars: atrophic and hypertrophic. Atrophic acne scars are indented or depressed, while hypertrophic acne scars are raised. 

Chemical peels are better at treating atrophic scars than hypertrophic scars, though a professionally administered series of chemical peels can potentially eliminate both types. Hyperpigmentation, while technically not a form of scarring, is the easiest form of post-acne skin trauma to treat with chemical peels. 

What to expect during and after a chemical peel

At Rochester Laser Center, our aestheticians use SkinCeuticals chemical peels, which they customize based on your particular skin situation. Depending on the severity of your acne scars, your Rochester Laser Center aesthetician may recommend a light or mild chemical peel. Deep chemical peels generally aren’t recommended for acne scars. 

At your appointment, you lie comfortably in a beauty chair while your aesthetician performs the chemical peel. Your aesthetician cleans your face and protects your eyes and hair. Then, the chemical peel solution is brushed onto your face. You may experience a tingling sensation and coldness. If your peel is more intense, you may feel a slight burning sensation, kind of like the way Icy Hot® feels when you apply it to sore muscles. 

What happens after your chemical peel depends on the type of peel you received, plus your skin’s individual tolerance to it. Some patients experience redness and sensitivity, while others feel just fine. You may need a few days of downtime where you don’t get any direct sun exposure and you limit exercise. Don’t worry: Your aesthetician makes sure you leave the clinic feeling confident about how to take care of your skin after a chemical peel. 

Ready for those acne scars to stop haunting you? Get in touch with Rochester Laser Center — call our Rochester Hills, Michigan, office at 248-221-1800 or book your appointment online

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