Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, most commonly used to treat comedonal or non-inflamed acne- that is acne that is not forming pustules.
It is a popular ingredient in many over-the-counter products, and Cosmetic Doctor use it as an effective peel to help patients with acne issues.
Acne is the result of the blocking and inflammation of the sebaceous glands, and it affects about 80% of people at some point in their lives.
Sebaceous glands lie just below the skin surface, and they produce a natural oil called sebum which helps keep our skin smooth and supple.
The production of oil from sebaceous glands is triggered by the hormone androgen, so understandably people are prone to acne during puberty when hormone levels are fluctuating.
Androgen is always present in the body, but when its levels increase, the sebum production increases too. If too much sebum is produced, the oil builds up inside the hair follicles and the warm, oily environment is ideal for a bacteria called propionibacterium acnes to grow.
This is the bacteria that causes the redness and inflammation associated with acne, and there are several different levels of acne from mild forms, such as blackheads and whiteheads, to far more severe forms where pustules are present.
How Salicylic Acid helps Acne
Salicylic acid helps correct the abnormal desquamation process that occurs in acne-prone skin. It works as an exfoliant, promoting the sloughing away of dead skin cells.
Salicylic acid is especially helpful in treating acne because of its ability to penetrate the follicle. It encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, helping keep the pores clear of cellular debris. In this way, it reduces the number of pore blockages and breakouts on the skin.
What do Salicylic Acid Peels Do?
Salicylic acid peels can help improve the following skin conditions:
- Clogged pores
- Oily, congested skin
The salicylic acid is applied after first preparing your skin to remove residual facial oils that might hinder the efficacy of the peel.
The strength and frequency of the peels will depends on your particular case; Dr. Fay will ensure you get the most appropriate treatment regime for you. The peel will be left on for a certain time; then neutralized and gently removed.
Your skin will feel a bit hot; it may turn red. This facial redness or erythema should subside in a few hours. For some people, the redness can linger around for a couple of days later. Expect some light skin peeling over the next few days.
Is there any downtime?
For most people, skin heals and returns back to normal in 3-4 days. The main side effects from salicylic acid peels are facial redness and flaking skin- like a sunburn. However, these side effects are usually not severe enough to take time off work or clear out your schedule.
If you get salicylic acid peels for active acne, you might experience some post-peel purging. As the acid exfoliates away the surface of your skin, it brings clogs you have underneath closer to the top, which may erupt as more active pimples.
As with all exfoliating treatments, salicylic acid peels will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Therefore, it is very important to stay indoors and wear a good sunscreen when you go outside, especially the first two days after you get the peel.
You’ll need a course of treatments for optimum results and should start to see the benefits after the first couple of peels.
For more information on salicylic acid peels for Acne Prone Skin call Cosmetic Doctor Dublin on 01 685 3100.