I'm 17 and have problems with Acne coming back, should I get a Chemical Peel?
Doctor Answers 6
We work with each individual patient to customize a treatment plan that targets his/her acne. This could include:
Topical acne treatments: You can apply to the skin to help kill bacteria, reduce oil, and/or exfoliate the dead skin cells so they don’t clog the pores. These include in-office chemical peels and prescription products you can use on your skin at home.
Oral acne treatments: To treat acne cysts and nodules. These prescription medicines can include antibiotics (to kill the bacteria and reduce inflammation), or isotretinoin (which treats all causes of acne).
State-of-the-art in-office procedures: Can help treat acne. These treatments include lasers and light therapy (to reduce bacteria on the skin and reduce the scars, redness, and marks that acne can leave behind), chemical peels (which slough off the dead skin cells that are clogging the pores), and acne removal (we can inject large medicine to reduce inflammation fast and drain large cysts to prevent the possibility of scarring).
A Series Of Superficial Peels Can Work Well To Treat Acne in People Of Color
Although there has been much hype and media attention to the use of lasers and light therapies for treating acne, overall, I have found the results of these to be disappointing. Tried and true, proven, at-home therapies include the use of prescription-strrength retinoids, alone, or in combination with benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics, and salicylic acid. For more severe or difficult-to-control cases, there may be the need for the addition of a short course of an oral antibiotic, such as doxicycline or azithromycin, among others.
Time-tested, in office treatments include a thorough professional cleaning of whiteheads and blackheads and the injection of anti-inflammatory agents to shrink large pimples, nodules, and potentially scarring cysts. In addition, the physician may recommend treatment with a series of glycolic or salicylic acid peels, both of which have been shown in studies (and born out during my over thirty years of experience using them) to be extremely helpful in speeding acne clearing and which can be safely used in people of color without concern for causing permanent or long-lasting pigmentary irregularities.
Consultation with a board certified dermatologist with extensive expertise and experience in treating "teenage" acne in people of color is strongly recommended.
The Laser Equivalent of a Chemical Peel
Yes, it is true that at your age, the acne has a lot to do with hormonal changes which affect the size and activity level of sebaceous glands which secrete oil. A safer alternative to chemical peels and oral medications is the Spectra laser, which gives results that are comparable to a chemical peel if not better. Your skin will be covered in a photo sensitive lotion which interacts with the laser to give fairly quick results. Blockages in your pores will be cleared out. Bacteria which later causes inflammation and subsequent acne scars will be killed. And also the laser decreases the activity of the sebaceous glands, which secrete oil that contributes to the acne condition. Results are a lot more predictable than a chemical peel too.
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Due to your dark skin type, I would not use an invasive chemical peel as is done by a plastic surgeon but you may benefit from one done by an aesthetician as well as treatment with the Hydrafacial machine or Oxygen Infusion Facial. Use these in conjunction with a light peel . Deep peels and lasers with your dark skin will lead to hypopigmentation.
Chemical Peel or Other
Any exfoliating type of skin care procedure will help with acne. At your age, it is still very common for young adults to experience hormonal acne. I would schedule an appointment with a local Dermatologist or Aesthetician to discuss options.
Chemical peels help clear acne when all else fails.
Chemical peels do help acne at any stage of the game and are easy to undergo for modest cost. They exfoliate the acne prone skin and even out skin color. Usually a series of peels are needed to make a significant difference. Sincerely,
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