Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Glycolic Acid Peel

Glycolic Acid Peel NYC

Chemical peels are quite successful for both therapeutic and cosmetic applications. Performed by a trained dermatologist in New York who’s looking out for your best interests, a glycolic peel can leave your skin refreshed. The procedure also prevents further skin disorders.

Similarly, salicylic acid peels have been used for more than 2,000 years with great success. Like glycolic peels, a salicylic peel is useful to treat:

Fruit and Vegetables

Chemical peels — such as alpha-hydroxy compounds found in glycolic acid peels and the hydroxyl ingredients of the salicylic acid peels — are rooted in nature. Glycolic acid is derived from fruit, where it gets its common name: a fruit peel. Your NYC dermatologist uses this compound regularly as it’s the most common peel on the market. Salicylic acid is a derivative of unripened vegetables and fruits. Some of the most common sources include kiwi, blackberries, mushrooms, tomatoes, and dates. Of course, today’s production is done in a lab with synthetic versions of natural sources. They’re intended, however, to have the same effect with very few, if any, side effects.

The Peel’s Goals

The primary goal of an acid peel, whether a glycolic or salicylic acid peel, is to remove a layer of skin to allow new, fresher-looking, and feeling skin to rejuvenate. Peels used on your face are the most popular, but you can have them applied to your hands to remove discoloration and dry, flaky skin. Chemical peels are performed in the office of your Manhattan dermatologist. The procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the depth of the skin removal, your overall health, and the ultimate goal of the treatment. Three basic levels of peel are:

  1. This is what’s often referred to as a “lunchtime peel.” A very mild solution of alpha-hydroxy glycolic acid or salicylic acid peel is used to disturb just the top layer of skin. This is more like exfoliation and is ideal for enhancing your face, neck, or hands when you have mild discoloration.
  2. A medium peel is the second option that’s good for treating mild skin discoloration, freckles, age spots, and lines and wrinkles. Rough skin and pre-cancerous lesions and bumps also can be removed safely with a medium peel using moderately strong acids.
  3. Phenol or Tricholoracetic acid penetrates deep into the middle layers of your skin to remove shallow scars, moderate wrinkles, and freckles. You see a dramatic difference from a deep peel, which usually is reserved only for facial peels.

You only can receive a deep peel once, whereas you’ll most likely have to return for multiple treatments when you get a superficial or moderate peel to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Before and After

Before you receive a chemical peel, you’ll undergo a series of exams by your dermatologist in NYC. In addition to a thorough visual exam, you’ll have to give a complete medical history. Your doctor will need to know:

  • If you have a family history of skin cancer or other skin disorders
  • What kinds of medication you’re taking, including herbs and supplements
  • Whether you’ve had a chemical peel, either glycolic or a salicylic chemical peel in the past, and what kinds of reactions you had
  • If you are or could be pregnant

Chemical peels work best if you have light skin and blond hair. And you shouldn’t have a chemical peel if you:

  • Have active Herpes simplex
  • Have any open cuts
  • Are sunburnt
  • Are you undergoing treatment for an infection or other skin disorder
  • Are you pregnant or nursing
  • Take Accutane, or have taken it within the last six months
  • Have psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, or dermatitis
  • Use any skin products that contain Retin-A, skin lightening ingredients, or other acid-based skin products.

You can expect to feel a little stinging when the chemicals are applied to your skin, but no pain. You may be given a mild pain reliever if you’ve had a deep, penetrating peel, but shouldn’t have more than redness, slight irritation, and minor crusting on the area that underwent chemical peeling. Glycolic acid peels and salicylic acid peels are safe and rarely have any lingering side effects. You may want to take the rest of the day off after having a moderate or deep chemical peel. Potential risks, while rare, could include:

  • Cold sores coming back if you’ve had them in the past
  • Temporary skin color changes
  • Permanent skin discoloration, especially if you take birth control pills
  • Scarring
★ ★ ★ ★ ★Went for a mole check after 5 years of not going and way too much sun exposure. Dr. Bard was super thorough, informed, and talked me through the mole removal process with great care. Very happy I found her!

Taking Care of Your Skin

You have to do your part to maintain your new skin and keep your skin protected, especially while it’s in the healing stages. Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. A superficial chemical peel takes anywhere from one to seven days to completely heal. Your Manhattan dermatologist can recommend the best lotion to moisturize your skin daily, which is to be followed by sunscreen — 30 SPF is recommended. You can wear makeup over that if you wish. Your skin remains swollen and reddish in color for up to 14 days after you have a moderate chemical peel. The worst swelling happens in the first two days when your eyelids also may be swollen. You may develop blisters, crusting, and peeling. You’re given special ointment to apply as well as an antiviral medication to prevent infection. After a week, you can begin wearing makeup again.

After a deep glycolic or salicylic chemical peel, you need to wear bandages over the treated area for a week or two. Thick moisturizer is required, as well as antiviral medicine and special creams while you heal. Your New York City dermatologist recommends that you completely avoid the sun for as long as six months after undergoing a deeper chemical peel. After any chemical peel or other skin treatment, maintain regular follow-up appointments with your best-rated New York dermatologist It’s vital that your condition is monitored to ensure not only a much-improved appearance but to keep you healthy at the same time. Both sun exposure and smoking will have negative effects on any work done to our skin.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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