Facial blemishes become harder and harder to conceal as we age and mature. Acne scars are a particularly common visual sign of aging. The scar tissue and adjacent skin remains discolored. This is caused by damaged cells reproducing themselves without improvement. The body will attempt to create healthier skin cells, but this is only after the damaged tissue has been removed. Surgical removal of damaged skin often results in a whole new region of scarring. On the other hand, chemical peels can gently lift away the superficial skin layer, and the body will replace this discarded tissue with healthier growth.
Acne scars are generally located near the surface. The epidermal layer and upper dermis are affected. A deep chemical peel is therefore not required in order to improve the appearance of acne scars or superficial injury scarring.
This means that very deep scarring cannot be treated with chemical peels. Acne breakouts during the teen and young adult years produce unhealthy skin cells in the epidermal layer and upper dermis, and these cells keep reproducing as the new tissue forms. The epidermal layer is constantly being shed and replaced by growing cells from below. These cells become the new tissue that is damaged. A superficial or medium-depth chemical peel can improve the appearance of these scarred areas.
How We Perform a Chemical Peel
A peel treatment is performed by applying a solution to the skin surface. A superficial peel treatment is performed by letting the solution sit on the surface for a few minutes. The acid is then neutralized by applying a sodium solution. After a few days, the skin affected by the acid dries up and flakes away.
The body accelerates the production of replacement tissue. After a week or so, the healthy new growth results in a smoother, more evenly toned skin surface. Blemishes are far less noticeable. Superficial wrinkling is also less prominent.
If the acne scarring is thicker, we may decide to perform a medium-depth peel. A stronger acid such as glycolic acid is applied to the skin and allowed to set for a longer period of time. Some of the upper dermis is affected by the acid, so the peeling and flaking is a bit more pronounced. This type of peel may require a few days recovery and the use of some topical ointments, but the results are quite positively dramatic and last for a longer period of time.
The acne scars fade away because much of the replacement skin tissue is lighter in tone. This doesn’t mean that the scarring is hidden, however. Much of the damaged cells are simply gone, flaked away during the peel treatment recovery period.
In addition to the improvement of acne and injury scars, peel treatments also reduce the amount of superficial wrinkling. Regions of dark tissue such as melasma can also be improved via chemical peels. We choose the type of peel treatment based on the client’s overall skin tone, thickness, and severity and depth of any blemishes. Freckles, age spots, and even sun-damaged skin can be corrected via chemical peels.
To find out which type of peel treatment will work best for you, contact VIDA Aesthetic Medicine to schedule a consultation. We are skin rejuvenation specialists, and we can help reduce the appearance of those annoying acne scars and injury scars without the need for any sort of aggressive treatment.