The chemical peel for acne scars

What is the chemical peel?

The chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin of the face, neck, and hands, by peeling the skin with a chemical. It acts on dead cells to eliminate them and rejuvenate the skin. This is a practice that must be performed by a dermatologist.

There several types of chemical peels?

There are three types of chemical peels depending on the medical condition to be treated and the desired effect, depth of damage to be treated: superficial, medium and deep.

The superficial or mild peel: It uses alpha-hydroxide acid or another mild acid that penetrates only the outer surface of the skin. This is a gentle exfoliation and it can improve the appearance of the skin.

The medium or soft peel: It is used for skin with acne scars. The exfoliation of the epidermis is then more intense and can reach the papillary dermis.

The deep peel:  A trichloroacetic acid is applied and will deeply penetrate the middle layer of the skin. It helps to eliminate cells from damaged skin and removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars.

What is the active product in the medium or soft chemical peel for acne scars?

Most often, trichloroacetic acid and fruit acids (AHA or Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids) are used to eliminate acne scars. These acids are present in green apples, lemon, currants, orange, bitter almonds, honey and fermented milk. The depth of this peel depends on the concentration of AHA. Indeed, there are creams with fruit acids available in pharmacies but their concentration is too low to act effectively on acne scars. The dermatologist will use products with concentrations that varies from 20% to 42% depending on the depth of the scar to be treated.

Preparing for the session

The dermatologist must begin by preparing the skin about 15 days in advance to the peel. The skin is cleansed and mild fruit acid based creams are used to gently exfoliate the skin so that it may allow for beeter penetration of the trichloroacetic acid. Topical retinoids and vitamin A based creams must be stopped a few days before the peel.

The product is applied with a brush, or with a soaked pad. It is applied on the zone, layer by layer. An intense burning sensation is felt during the application but can be reduced with a soothing cream. At this stage, the dermatologist ensures the control of the icing of the skin. This icing, fluffy at first will lead to peeling for four to ten days, which will then leave the skin with a more uniform appearance. Care should be taken not to tear off crusts that form, or to scratch the skin, and it is important to moisturize with recommended cream and protect with sunscreens.

What are the side effects of the chemical peel?

  • Hyperpigmentation can sometimes occur especially on dark skin. This can be treated with a local corticosteroid cream.
  • The skin may turn pinkish for a few weeks after the peel.


What are the precautions to take after a chemical peel?

  • The patient should be careful not to tear off the scabs that form, as this may cause the scars to appear again.
  • Sun protection is extremely important after the peel. Never expose your skin to the sun without sunscreen.
  • Sufficient drinking of water is necessary to ensure constant hydration of the skin.
  • Avoid constant touching face.
  • Sleep enough. The skin regenerates at night.


Am I a good candidate for a chemical peel?

Most people with acne scars are good candidates for chemical peels.

People who suffer from heart disease, herpes, diabetes and pregnant women are not good candidates for a chemical peel.

A consultation is necessary before any chemical peels to determine if you have allergies or other health problems.


Book a consultation

If you feel a chemical peel is right for you, do not wait long. Call us at 514 400 3291. Trust us to help you get rid of your acne scars.