Acne is big business. That’s because so many people suffer from acne that there’s a constant and growing market for acne remedies and acne treatments. If you doubt this is true, take a look the next time you go to your local drug store. You’ll see the shelves are jam-packed with acne creams, acne gels, soaps, and other products. And for every over-the-counter remedy you see there are still other prescription and licensed procedures as well. The list of available treatments is huge.
One group of popular treatments that has been shown to produce good acne-fighting results are chemical peels. These are treatments, usually performed by a dermatologist, that strip off the top layers of skin. As the skin is peeled away so are the dead skin cells and the excess oil that plugs pores. The result is fresher, smoother skin that’s free of superficial blemishes. But chemical peels are not for everyone.
In the first place chemical peels can be uncomfortable. The chemical formulations used actually burn the skin and cause irritation. How much burning and irritation occurs is dependent upon how powerful the chemicals applied to the skin are and how long they’re left on the skin to do their job.
Some peels are mild in nature and don’t do much more than turn the skin bright red for a day or two. But some peels are anything but mild. They burn and blister the skin and require weeks or even months to recover from. The mild peels usually require no pain management but the heavy peels or “deep peels” usually require a general anesthetic while they’re performed as well as pain medication during recovery.
Another important consideration with chemical peels is the cost. Even a mild facial chemical peel will run in the $150 to $300 range. The deeper the peel, the more expensive it will be too. It’s not unusual for a deep chemical peel to cost in the $1000’s of dollars. This can be a major stumbling block especially when you consider that peels are not cures and may need to be repeated sometime in the future to maintain results.
Finally, there’s the risk factor. Any chemical concoction directly applied to the skin runs the risk of damaging the very skin it’s meant to treat. That’s why it’s important to find a qualified dermatologist to perform the treatment – no matter how mild a peel it is.
Chemical peels can successfully treat acne. However, they’re time-consuming treatments, when you consider the potential recovery time needed. And they can be expensive. They can also be very risky so be careful if you go down this acne treatment path.