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Glycolic acid skin peels and how it works

Everyone want smooth and younger skin, especially as they grow older. Regular exfoliation and scrubbing of the skin may help; but if you were not regular with this, you might consider having a glycolic acid peel. Though the procedure offers lots of benefits, it’s important you thoroughly understand the procedure and what it can actually do for your skin.

So what exactly is a peel?

As the name implies, it’s a product which is applied to your face and then peeled off. While it can be performed at home using over-the-counter products, peels performed at the dermatologist’s or aesthetician’s office are the most effective.

Peels help smoothen skin by removing outer skin layers which hold onto damage and is usually rough and dry. While most people benefit from a peel, those with pimples, acne, uneven skin coloring and wrinkles benefit the most.

So a glycolic peel is a peel using glycolic acid, a popular treatment for wrinkles and acne today. It’s a fruit acid derived from sugar cane which when applied to the skin helps remove the ‘glue’ holding the old and rougher dry skin to the surface. Once the top skin layer is removed, the new fresh, clearer and less oily layer without damage is visible.

How it works

You need to approach your plastic surgeon, aesthetician or dermatologist if you want a glycolic acid peel, which is a fairly light peel performed with few, if any, side effects. A light peel layer is applied to your face and left for some time, which is decided based on the reason for the peel and person performing the peel.

You can leave the office once the peel is removed. There’s no recovery time or pain relievers necessary with a glycolic acid peel. Your doctor may prescribe a Motrin or Tylenol if you have any discomfort, which may be only some slight skin irritation.

Possible side effects

There are few side effects associated with a glycolic acid peel like some burning after the procedure, which goes away quickly. There may be some redness, which goes away fairly quickly. It’s usually those with sensitive or very fair skin who are most likely to encounter these discomforts. Moreover, as glycolic acid makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, it’s better to wear a good sun block after the peel.

Future treatments

In most cases, a single glycolic acid peel isn’t enough to give results. Your doctor will usually prescribe a few treatments over a fixed span of time. However do remember that while a glycolic acid peel does give impressive results, it cannot take the place of a face lift or other cosmetic surgery!