What is a Jessner's Peel?

An aesthetician told me i needed a jessners peel for sun damage i have on my cheeks. From what research i've done, i can only gather that a jessner peel is a blend of chemical peel types. what is the jessner and when is it used on the face?

Doctor Answers 6

A Jessner's peel is a peel similar to glycolic acid in strength

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Chemical peels differ according to their strength, or how deep they go in the skin. Jessner's solution is a combination of three chemicals: resorcinol, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. Jessner's peels and glycolic peels are both superficial peels, meaning that they are lighter peels and will not penetrate very deeply into the skin. This is good because it means there is less risk of scarring. However, there will be some peeling and flaking, and if your skin is darker there may be some of discoloration. Some studies have shown that there is more peeling after a Jessner's peel than a glycolic peel. Glycolic peels come in different strengths, and Jessner's solution comes in one strength. Jessner's peels are often used as a "pre-treatment" to remove the top layers of skin before performing deeper peels using TCA.

In my office I most often use glycolic acid peels. I find them the most versatile chemical peels to treat sun damage, acne, or just for an overall refreshing for the skin.

Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Jessner's Peel is a refreshing peel for the face, chest, hands etc.

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Jessner's Peel is a combination of superficial peelings agents ie. sal acid, resorcinol and lactic acid. It goes a little deeper than a glycolic peel. The peel goes thru the epidermis to the junction of the epidermis and dermis. It is also used as a first coat in deeper peels such as a 35% TCA with Jessners.

I like the Jessners peel as a reliable, safe peel for rejuvenating sun damaged skin. The peel can be done on non-facial areas as well since it is a superficial peel.

Good Luck!

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Jessner's Peel

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A Jessner's peel is a combination of 3 fruit acids mixed together to give you a wonderful light chemical peel. It is made up of 14% lactic acid, resorcinal and salicyclic acids and is done every 2 weeks for a series of 4-6 peels at $175 per peel for the face. Everyone should do a series yearly to get their skin looking awsome.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Jessner's peel

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The Jessner's peel has salicylic , resorcinol, and lactic acid as its active ingredients. It is extremely safe and one ofthe more effective "superficial" peels. I use it in all skin types safely. It is excellent to combine with TCA but these need to be done by your doctor as scarring can occur if used inappropriately.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist

Jessner's peel is a combination peeling agent

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Jessner's is made of the following:

14g resorcinal -- a chemical compound from the dihydroxy phenols. It is the 1.3 isomer of benzenediol with the formula C6H4(OH)2

14g lactic acid 85% -- also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in several biochemical processes

14g salicylic acid -- a beta hydroxy acid. This colorless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone.

All of these are in ethanol to make 100cc is an alcohol that is a short chain molecule and allows the peel to penetrate

All ingredients above work by removing your skin cells. Essentially the peels work together to take away the more superficial layers to allow deeper cells to resurface the treated areas and hence replenish the skin. It allows each agent to be less concentrated to decrease complications but increase effectiveness.

Over single and multiple treatments, these peels are likely to induce collagen production under the skin stem cells to improve pore size, tighten the skin, remove unwanted pigmentation, and improve skin texture. It is a very superficial peel and is safe. You need to be cautious with darker skin types like Asians, Hispanics and African Americans as with other skin treatments.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Jessner peel is a superficial peel

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Dear Heidi

A Jessner's peel is a superficial Salicylic acid peel that is sometimes combined with other agents to enhance the effect of the other agent.

A Jessner's peel may or may not be a peel for which they are licensed by their State to perform. Your state board of cosmetology can answer this type of question. Procedures outside the scope of their license is consider the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Typically, the peels that Aestheticians are permitted to perform do not go deep enough into the skin to really have a significant effect on sun damaged skin. The 30 to 40% glycolic peels and even Jessner peels only penetrate the outer layers of the skin. When you need service deeper than this, your safest option is to go to a cosmetic surgeon who offers deeper peels or services like fractional laser resurfacing. This will include core aesthetic physicians including dermatologist (probably your best bet), plastic surgeons, and facial plastic surgeons.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.