There is a constant battle between acne and one’s environment. While flare-ups of acne might last just for a while, the scars left behind could last much longer. Acne scars go beyond skin deep – they can cause intense emotional and psychological strain and can even inhibit one’s social freeness. There are a number of treatments that have been introduced to remove acne scars.
In some intense cases of scarring and pitting, however, more drastic measures of removal might be required. Alpha hydroxyl acids such as glycolic acids can be used to progressively remove the scarred skin and boost natural production of clear, smooth skin. It also stimulates production of collagen thereby leading to younger and more supple skin. In the long run, these peels can render your acne scars invisible, depending on how bad the scars are.
How To Use Glycolic Acid Peels
Glycolic acid is a mild acid that occurs naturally in a number of fruits. It works by causing the top layer of your skin to become dry and peel off, thereby enhancing skin rejuvenation. Glycolic acid peels come in different strengths depending on the extent of scarring and your skin type and concentrations can range from 10% to 80%. While these peels can be used at home, it is recommended that they be used only under the guidance of a qualified dermatologist for a limited period of time as directed. In extreme cases of scarring, some dermatologists combine glycolic acid peels with mild abrasive techniques to smooth severely scarred skin.
If you have a problem with mild scarring then the mildest form of this acid could be used. For example, your doctor might recommend this acid in 12% concentration in a gel or cream base. Used over time, your skin will appear smoother and well toned. For more extensive scarring, between 20% and 80% of acid concentration might be required. In these cases it is recommended to get treated professionally as you could end up harming your skin. While glycolic acid peels do deal with scars effectively, you need to bear in mind that scars that have damaged multiple layers of skin may not be completely removed with these peels.
When using glycolic peels at home ensure that you use these only as suggested by your dermatologist. It is usually recommended to apply the cream base containing the peel on your skin for around three to five minutes each day to start with. Wash your skin with cool water and avoid using any makeup for at least two hours following this. A mild moisturiser may be used if your skin is extra dry or flaky.
If you are concerned about the side effects of the acid, wash your face with water mixed with a little baking soda. Baking soda is an excellent neutraliser of all acids. Mild peeling, redness and sensitivity of skin is natural after using glycolic acid peels. This usually subsides after a few days of use. Apart from exfoliation, glycolic acid also has the ability to draw moisturizers to the new layer of skin that is revealed after the peel. While there are temporary side effects, the results in the long run are definitely worth it.