Comparing home treatment to professional chemical peels for acne clearance

image Dermatology ® P.C at Montclair, NJ blog articles

Most people develop acne at some point in their lives, usually during periods of hormonal change or stress. Mild flare ups may respond satisfactorily to over the counter products. However, improper treatment could result in permanent scarring. Dr. Jeanine Downie of Image Dermatology® encourages patients in the Essex Fells area to consider the benefits of professional acne care for clearer skin now, and a smooth complexion for life.

Drug store preparations

Most acne products for home use contain one of these active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide in strengths from 2.5 to ten percent. Using a concentration too high for your skin type or overusing benzoyl peroxide results in redness, scaling, stinging and burning, and excessive dryness. Be careful – it also bleaches hair and clothing.
  • Salicylic acid; 0.5 to two percent. This ingredient causes cells inside hair follicles to shed, in an attempt to prevent pores from clogging. Salicylic acid may result in skin irritation.
  • Alpha hydroxyl acids, which are glycolic acid synthetic versions of compounds derived from sugary fruits. They remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation, texture, tone, acne, hair bumps and fine lines.
  • Sulfur, combined with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, aids in the removal of dead skin cells and excess oil. It also has the potential to dry skin, and smells a little like rotten eggs.
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The professional difference

All of the above ingredients have a level of effectiveness in combating acne. Finding a combination that works for your breakouts, however, can be a frustrating and expensive experience. At best, it may take several months of regular use to see results. At worse, home treatment can damage your skin.

Dr. Downie suggests a customized acne-fighting program that includes prescription-strength products and regular chemical peels – with the assurance of professional oversight.

Chemical peels are acids carefully applied to the skin to exfoliate top layers without abrasion. This process steps up production of skin cells, which accelerates turn-over to avoid clogged pores that cause acne. Formulation and timing are critical elements for safe, effective results. Milder peels such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and amino fruit acid require no downtime and you may wear makeup right away. Skin takes a little longer to heal after a deeper treatment but peels like Jessner’s or TCA (trichloracetic acid) also improve the appearance of acne scarring.

In most cases, a professional chemical peel about once every two weeks makes an amazing improvement in acne and overall skin condition. Improves texture, tone, acne, hair bumps and fine lines. Proper aftercare, sun protection, and quality skincare products help to maintain results.

At image Dermatology, chemical peels are not a “cookie-cutter” treatment for acne. They are part of a comprehensive approach that addresses the patient’s unique skin type and needs. Call (973) 509-6900 today to talk with Dr. Downie about chemical peels as part of your acne management plan.

Dr. Jeanine Downie is an experienced and popular dermatologist in Montclair. She possesses extensive experience and training in all aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. Dr. Downie provides modern and cutting-edge dermatology treatments to everyone in your family in a professional, competent and compassionate manner while ensuring that your individual and unique needs are met. Having received rigorous academic training, she completed her residency in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and also served as Chief Resident. She continues to upgrade her skills set and share her knowledge through professional affiliations and lecturing assignments on behalf of several renowned medical societies such as The Skin Cancer Foundation and The American Academy of Dermatology, among others. She also frequently interacts with the public through popular television shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The Dr. Oz Show, to name a few.


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