How Do I Peel Skin With Salicylic Acid

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When peeling skin with salicylic acid, it is important to de-fat the skin so the peel can penetrate, and then wipe the salicylic acid onto the face. Experience beautiful skin after the peel with advice from a dermatologist in this free video on skin care.

Part of the Video Series: Acne Prone Skin Care
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Video Transcript

I'm Dr. Rosalyn George from Wilmington Dermatology Center in Wilmington, North Carolina. And, I'd like to give you some information on salicylic acid peels. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, and how beta hydroxy acids are different from alpha hydroxy acids, is that beta hydroxy acids are lipophyilic, meaning that they love fats or lipids. And so, salicylic acid really penetrates deep into the pore. The most common reason we use salicylic acid peels are for acne, or oily skin. You can use it on the face, you can use it on the chest and the back. I usually use it to jump start an acne program. So, someone comes in, they really want to see improvement more quickly than what a typical acne treatment will give them, and the salicylic acid peels are a really good way to do that. It's very easily applied. What normally happens is either an esthetician or a dermatologist will apply it. First, you have to de-fat the skin, so you'll cleanse your skin, and then they will either wipe your skin with an alcohol wipe, or an acetone wipe to make that all the oils are gone, so that they chemical peel can actually penetrate. And then, they use a small gauze pad to wipe the salicylic acid onto the face. Typically, there comes in 20 percent or 30 percent sailcylic acid. Most people will start with the 20, and then if they do okay with 20 percent, then up it to 30 percent. What you can expect is that your face will be a little bit pink, like you have a mild sunburn. You will notice a slight frost, almost like crushed aspirin, on your face. And then, basically you'll start to peel little fine flakes for just three to five days. Salicylic acid, in addition to loving lipids and penetrating deep into the oil glands, is also a very good anti-inflammatory, so it can help with some of the redness associated with acne as well. That was some basic information, but before you start any skin care program, or have any procedures, please consult with your dermatologist or skin care specialist.

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