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Light Chemical Peels: Your questions answered

What are light chemical peels and how they can help you with your skin problems? What are the solutions used during the treatment? How effective are their results? What are their side effects and what is the recovery time? If questions like this are surrounding your thoughts then read this article.


Light peel is a type of chemical peel treatment during which the dead and damaged upper layer of skin is removed. The treatment encourages cell regeneration and growth. Problems like acne, chronic dry skin, uneven pigmentation and fine lines on your skin can be treated.

Light chemical peels are also recognized as Glycolic acid peels, Alpha hydroxy acids or Salicylic chemical peels. Alpha hydroxy acids that are found in sugar cane are one of the common ingredients of light chemical peels. AHA removes the external dead sheet of skin revealing fresh and smooth skin. Moreover, chemical solution enhances the production of collagen and elastin that are vital constituents of healthy and youthful skin.

It is suitable for those who have mild skin infections or blotches and want to revitalize the skin without undergoing harsher treatments. Because the peel exfoliates the skin layers and unblocks pores, it is considered an effective treatment for acne.

chemical_peels-before-afterBefore application of the chemical solutions, the skin is first cleansed gently to remove dirt and bacteria. Once this is done, the solution is applied to the damaged areas. The concentration of Glycolic acid in solution depends upon the patient’s need.

Anesthesia is not required for this procedure but sedation can be done to ease a patient’s discomfort or anxiety. During the treatment, the patient may feel slight stinging and burning sensation, but this will subside with the application of soothing or neutralizing lotion. This process of chemical peel takes about one hour and usually the patient experiences no side effects. However, several treatments are necessary to get the desired results.

Light chemical peels consist of Alpha Hydroxy Acid –AHA and Beta Hydroxy Acid. The physician selects an optimal solution or sometimes a mixture of two to perform the treatment, according to the skin type of the patient. Glycolic acid is one of the common types of alpha hydroxy acid used in skin treatments. Beta Hydroxy Acid-BHA peels are almost similar to AHA .They are both mild acids which exfoliate the upper epidermis of skin, peeling off the damaged layer. The difference is that AHA’s are water-soluble while BHA’s like salicylic acid are lipid soluble. BHA penetrates greasy skin and blocked pores in a better way.

There are various benefits of AHA’s such as it smoothes dry and rough skin, improves texture of sun-damaged skin, helps in controlling acne, and it can be mixed with bleaching agents to correct pigmentation problems of skin.
There are no side effects of light chemical peel and it requires almost no recovery time. You may have slightly flaky or irritated skin after glycolic acid application but you can resume your activities immediately after the treatment. Generally, doctors advise patients to use gentle cleansers, moisturizing lotions and sunscreens. Follow these instructions for better results.

Patients generally undergo 5-8 sessions to obtain best results. As the formulation is customized according to each patient’s requirement, the number of times a treatment should be repeated and the waiting period between treatments will vary.

Summary: Light Chemical Peels are also called Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) peels. These peels are used in the treatment of acne, the reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, poor pigmentation problems, and more. Anesthesia is not required during the procedure. Light chemical peel treatments take about one hour. These peels are considered mostly safe and have no lasting side effects other than some flaking or peeling of the skin for a few days after treatment. There is no recovery time for these chemical peels. Many treatments may be needed to achieve your desired results. Your doctor will decide which peel and strength is right for you. Speak to your doctor about treatment options and prices, as insurance companies usually will not pay for cosmetic procedures. This peel is effective for those who have mild skin infections or blemishes on their skin.

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