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Salicylic Acid peel

The Salicylic acid peel is one of the mainstays of acne treatment today. Derived from the bark of the Willow tree, this acid is the component of many a face wash and anti acne cream. As a peel, Salicylic acid peels yield excellent results in the control and treatment of black heads and oiliness of the skin, resulting in skin which looks grease-free and shine-free.

  • What is a Salicylic acid peel?

A Salicylic Acid peel is a chemical peel which features Salicylic acid as the main component. Glycolic acid is a beta hydroxy acid derived from the bark of the willow tree. The active agent has been isolated and synthesised, and is available in various concentrations and combinations today.

  • Are Salicylic acid peels safe?

Today, Salicylic acid peels are commonly performed procedures at the Dermatologists office worldwide. Salicylic acid is a common addition to most of the anti-acne face washes and anti acne and skin mattifying creams available over the counter today.

When you choose to have a Salicylic acid peel, you are electing to have a fairly light treatment, with good results and few if any side effects.

  • Do I need a Salicylic acid peel?

If your skin is acne or pimple prone, and becomes very oily, Salicylic acid peels may the answer! Salicylic acid peels are used to treat pimples, and help open up black heads. It can be used to remove the oiliness that forms due to excess oil secretion over your skin giving your skin the matt look you always wanted.

Glycolic acid peels are usually part of the treatment protocol for most acne treatments, and may be the initial part of treatment before any anti scarring treatment starts.

  • I have had a peel earlier, but I did not see any change. What could be the cause?

As it is a mild treatment, a single first session of any peel may not yield impressive results. You may need a series of peels done on a fortnightly basis to see good results. Your dermatologist will be able to titrate the concentration of the acid in the peel with further sessions, and the results usually become evident after the third session. However, your skin will look fresher and clearer from the first session itself.

  • How is the Salicylic acid peel performed?

A Salicylic acid peel is a simple procedure that can be performed as an out patient procedure in the dermatologists office. You may be instructed to avoid using strong creams (like retinoid creams) one to two days before the peel.

On the day of the peel, usually a consultation with the dermatologist is scheduled. After consultation with the dermatologist in order to ascertain your skin type, and the correct concentration and chemical peeling agent to be used, a informed consent is taken. Pre procedure photographs are taken. The skin is cleansed with a soap free cleanser. Then, the Salicylic acid is applied to the skin by the dermatologist. The peeling agent is left on for a predetermined time (usually 5-10 mins) and neutralised thereafter. During the procedure, most patients experience a mild warmth or mild stinging sensation. A post peel balm and sunscreen are then applied. (video of a peel)

  • What is the after care after a peel?

Do use a ph, balanced soap free face wash and a good moisturiser to promote healing of the treated skin. Use a broad band sunscreen regularly to prevent any hyperpigmentation or dyspigmentation of the treated skin. Restart treatment creams that have been prescribed after the exfoliation has been completed. Your dermatologist may also recommend vitamin creams or specific blending creams to enhance the results of the peels.

  • I have severe pimples since two years. Can Salicylic acid peels help?

Salicylic acid peels do help in the control of pimples. However, a pimples which are persistent for many months need expert evaluation and diagnosis by a dermatologist to rule out any other problems which may be causing them to recur. You may need to take some home care in the form of face wash, creams and tablets to control and eradicate the problem. Do consult your dermatologist so they can suggest the personalised treatment options for you. Talk to Dr. Rasya Dixit to know more about Salicyclic Acid peels.

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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

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