Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Chemical Peel And Cystic Acne

A cystic acne breakout is a large, red, deep skin breakout. This type of acne scarring can remain visible for a long time after the initial outbreak. When oil and dead skin cells build up in a pore, bacteria can enter and cause inflammation and scarring. In this article we’ll discuss best chemical peel for cystic acne and how to treat breakouts after chemical peel.

Chemical Peel And Cystic Acne

What causes cystic acne?

Genetics are largely to blame (ugh), but your diet and lifestyle also affect your skin’s condition. “Food that’s high in fat and unhealthy oils can trigger inflammation in your skin, which can lead to clogged pores,”explains Dr. Engelman. However, Dr. Devgan dispels the misconception that it is caused by chocolate, nuts, greasy food, or bad hygiene. That being said, there are ways to mitigate your acne-triggering DNA with the help of proper preventative care and treatments.

What is the best treatment for cystic acne?

Oftentimes, a combination of topical treatments, prescribed medication, and over-the-counter products render the best results. “The typical rule of thumb according to dermatologists is [to see a doctor] if a drugstore treatment hasn’t cleared up acne after two weeks,” recommends Dr. Engelman.

Dermatologist treatments: As far as in-office treatments go, “intense Pulsed Light treatments can be used to kill the bacteria that causes acne and quickly clear the skin,” says Dr. Devgan. “Topical products, chemical peels and intralesional steroids can sometimes assist in clearing active cystic acne, and ablative resurfacing lasers and microneedling can be helpful with scarring once the cystic acne has cleared.”

Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist also recommends getting a diluted corticosteroid injected directly into the cyst for a quick-fix (it will start to minimize in six hours). “Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory that shrinks the swollen wall of the cyst,” she explains.

Medication: Apart from the minimally invasive procedures above, a dermatologist can also work with you to find medications that will help treatment in the long-run. “Nodular acne often requires treatment with systemic medications such as oral antibiotics, and hormonal medications (oral contraceptives, spironolactone),” says Valerie Harvey, MD, a dermatologist based in Virginia. “Isotretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A, is also very effective.”

What are chemical peels

Chemical peels are cosmetic treatments that can be applied to the face, hands, and neck. They’re used to improve the appearance or feel of the skin. During this procedure, chemical solutions will be applied to the area being treated, which causes the skin to exfoliate and eventually peel off. Once this happens, the new skin underneath is often smoother, appears less wrinkled, and may have less damage.

There are a number of reasons people may get chemical peels. They may be trying to treat a variety of things, including:

  • wrinkles and fine lines
  • sun damage
  • acne scars
  • hyperpigmentation
  • scars
  • melasma
  • uneven skin tone or redness

What type of chemical peels can I get?

There are three different types of chemical peels that you can get. These include:

  • Superficial peels, which use mild acids like alpha-hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate. It only penetrates the outermost layer of skin.
  • Medium peels, which use trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to reach the middle and outer layer of skills. This makes it more effective for removing damaged skin cells.
  • Deep peels, which fully penetrate the middle layer of the skin to remove damaged skin cells; these peels often use phenol or tricholoracetic acid.

How much do chemical peels cost?

Chemical peels are almost always considered a cosmetic procedure, and insurance rarely covers it. You’ll be paying for the procedure out of pocket. Your initial consultation visit, however, may be covered by insurance.

The cost of the procedure will vary depending on factors like location, expertise of the provider, and what type of peel you want to get. Light peels can cost as low as $150, and deep peels can cost $3,000 or more (specifically if it requires anesthesia, or in-patient stays). According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the current average cost of a chemical peel is $673.

How is a chemical peel done?

Chemical peels are typically done in-office; deep peels may be done in an outpatient surgical facility. Before the procedure, they will likely have you tie back your hair. Your face will be cleaned, and eye protection like goggles or gauze may be applied.

Your doctor may numb the area with a topical anesthetic, especially if you’re receiving a deep peel. For deep peels, your doctor may also use a regional anesthetic, which will numb large areas. They are particularly likely to do this if you’re having your face and neck treated. For deep peels, you’ll also be given an IV, and your heart rate will be closely monitored.

Light peel

During a light peel a cotton ball, gauze, or brush will be used to apply a chemical solution like salicylic acid to the area being treated. The skin will start to whiten, and may have a slight stinging sensation. Once complete, the chemical solution will be removed or a neutralizing solution will be added.

Medium peel

During a medium chemical peel, your doctor will use a gauze, special sponge, or a cotton-tipped applicator to apply the chemical solution to your face. This may contain glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid. A blue color may be added to the trichloroacetic acid, commonly known as a blue peel. The skin will begin to whiten, and your doctor will apply a cool compress to the skin. You may feel stinging or burning for up to 20 minutes. No neutralizing solution is needed, though they may give you a hand-held fan to cool your skin. If you’ve had the blue peel you will have a blue coloring of your skin that may last for several days after the peel.

Deep peel

During a deep chemical peel, you will be sedated. The doctor will use a cotton-tipped applicator to apply phenol to your skin. This will turn your skin white or gray. The procedure will be done in 15-minute portions, to limit the skin exposure to the acid.

Acne treatment with chemical peel

After your initial consultation, we will decide on the type of peel that’s best to treat your acne. In the weeks leading up to your first chemical peel, you may be prescribed topical medication to prepare the skin for your peel. These could be a combination of hydroquinone and tretinoin, along with lower strength alpha-hydroxy acids. Follow all instructions before your peel, such as avoiding excess sun exposure, makeup, and exfoliating.

On the day of your treatment, your dermatologist or aesthetician will first cleanse your face. Then, the prepared chemical solution is placed on the face with an applicator, making sure to avoid your hair and eyes. After the peel stays on for a few minutes, the chemical is deactivated with a neutralizer to prevent burning. The total process takes less than 20 minutes. For deeper peels, the process can take a bit longer. For the best results, you will need a series of chemical peels over 2 to 3 months.

Best Chemical Peel For Cystic Acne

In order to treat acne, your doctor will perform a superficial or medium-depth peel. Peels that are only superficial can help with mild acne, and they can also improve the skin’s texture and tone. For moderate to severe cases of acne scarring, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, a medium peel is recommended. The following options are available for your superficial peel:

Alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid are excellent for light peels because they exfoliate without damaging deeper layers of skin. It encourages collagen production while aiding in exfoliation. All skin types can benefit from glycolic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties. There will initially be a 20% strength for the superficial peel.
Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid found in willow tree bark, is effective in both deep exfoliation and acne treatment. In addition, it can help you retain water, which means your pores will stay clear for longer and you’ll experience fewer breakouts.
The Jessner Hypothesis and Method:
Acids salicylic acid and resorcinol make up the other 14%, while lactic acid contributes the other 14%.
To gently peel the epidermis, try using lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid. If combined with other acids, the treatment becomes more potent.
Exfoliating and great for mild to moderate acne, mandelic acid is another alpha-hydroxy acid. In addition to its antifungal properties, mandelic acid has been shown to be antibacterial in lab studies. You may find that your dermatologist uses a mixture of mandelic and salicylic acids.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is an acid that has been synthesized specifically for use in performing peels.
Any of the following categories apply to peels of medium depth:

35%-35% TCA 35% or more Glycolic acid
Or a more potent solution could be made by combining different acids.

How To Treat Breakouts After Chemical Peel

With these pro-approved methods, you can reduce your skin’s recovery time after a peel, whether you do it yourself or have a professional do it.

Use cold water to wash your face. Although both cool and cold water have been shown to be effective in reducing discomfort following a peel, the former may be preferable to the latter.

Hydrate and moisturize. Peels have a short-term effect of weakening the skin’s protective barrier, so it is essential to restore that barrier with a thick moisturizer. Dehydration, which can cause a tight feeling in the skin, should also be avoided by drinking more water.

Put on sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF rating. After getting a peel, your skin will be more sensitive, so protecting it from the sun will prevent premature aging. Wear a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen if you must be out in the sun.

Stay away from intense exercise, dry saunas, and steam rooms. Warming, tingling, itching, redness, and other unpleasant side effects on newly peeled skin can be exacerbated by increased blood circulation to the face. Do not schedule any of these things for the day you plan to use your peel.

Avoid over-exfoliating. You don’t need to use a separate exfoliant (like a scrub, brush, or exfoliating cleanser) within 3-4 days of your peel because peels are maximum-strength exfoliants. Wait until your skin is no longer sensitive before exfoliating again.

After a peel, your skin should be “back to normal” before you go back to your regular skin care routine. Consult a professional skin therapist for guidance on how to work peels into your routine.

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