There are a million ways to treat acne – some fancy, some not so fancy. Lately blue-light therapy has been the hot (and lucrative) acne treatment for spa-going women and for BMW-driving teens (more on blue light therapy in a later post).
Other popular spa treatments for acne include facial peels; they involve treating the skin with chemicals, usually acids, that produce a superficial skin injury, peeling the thick, dead cells on your skin’s surface.
Underlying all acne are 1. sticky skin cells that fail to properly exfoliate and 2. bacteria that love to live trapped in hair follicles. Any treatment that helps exfoliate or eliminate bacteria will help acne. Facial peels help eliminate the stickiness of the skin cells and open the plugging of the hair follicles.
A recent study found that two types of commonly used chemical peels, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, were effective in reducing mild to moderate acne. The chemical peels were performed every two weeks for 3 months. Both peels were equally effective at reducing acne; although the salicylic acid peel might have longer lasting effects.
In the study the chemical peels were used in addition to standard acne therapy of topical retinoids and antibiotics. It is unlikely that the chemical peels alone would be effective in treating acne.
Photo credit: FCC, minitrue