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Chemical Peels

   At Boston Acne Specialists we offer the most effective medical-grade chemical peels available to combat post-inflammatory acne hyperpigmentation (dark spots), acne scars, signs of aging, fine lines, and sun damage. They can also help soften acne scars. After treatment your skin will appear younger and be noticeably smoother and more radiant as the damaged outer layers of skin cells are removed. Peels are usually done in layers, up to a limit of the particular product, according to your goals and your skin’s ability to tolerate the sensation. We will determine the right number of layers for your skin. The first time you have a peel, we may elect to do only a single layer, and gradually increase the number over time. We offer several pure medical grade chemical peels as well as the popular Vi Peel. The peel treatments may be customized with various additives and boosters to specifically target hyper pigmentation treatment, acne scar treatment or active acne treatment in combination with our comprehensive acne treatment protocol. Having clear, acne-free skin is possible with the help of some amazing in-office procedures, such as chemical peels. A chemical peel is a procedure that should be performed in a doctor’s offices such as Boston Acne Specialists with the goal of improving acne, acne scars, and marks from previous acne breakouts without risking further skin damage. During a chemical peel treatment, a peeling agent, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, is applied to the skin for a brief amount of time to remove the damaged and dead top layer of skin, which can help prevent clogging of the pores.


There are several chemical peels used for acne treatment, including Jessner’s Peel, glycolic acid peels and salicylic acid peels, all are used for the treatment of acne and acne scarring and acne pigmentation. There is not a “best” chemical peel, but different peels that work best for different patients and different problems. One of our favorite chemical peels for acne at the Boston Acne Specialists is the Jessner’s Peel and 20% salicylic acid peels.



What is a Jessner’s Peel?


A Jessner’s Peel is a solution combining resorcinol, lactic acid and salicylic acid all in one, in order to treat both acne and the post-inflammatory acne hyperpigmentation (brown spots) left behind from old acne lesions. It is performed as a series of treatments in the office, generally at one-month intervals. The amount of Jessner’s Peels required for each patient depends on the skin type and condition being treated.


Are Jessner’s Peels safe for all skin types?


Jessner’s Peels are safe for all skin types. These in-office chemical peels can be tailored to treat all skin types and skin colors safely. Many patients with darker skin types experience residual marks after their acne has resolved called “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” which are brown spots that remain after the acne lesions have cleared. They are like “ashes after a fire.” The fire was the acne and the ashes are the marks that were left behind. Jessner’s Peels are a safe and effective treatment option for these patients.


How long does a chemical peel take?


The length of times it takes to have a chemical peel varies by the type of chemical peel performed and the skin type of the patient having the peel. Most peels last a few minutes, though some chemical peels take only seconds and some chemical peels take hours to complete.


What is the downtime after a chemical peel?


Some patients do not experience any downtime after a chemical peel, although most patients experience mild redness and peeling. Every type of chemical peel is different; some chemical peels are designed not to have any downtime, and some have significant downtime. The most common peels used for the treatment of acne have just a few days of mild redness and peeling.


Do chemical peels hurt?


Some chemical peels cause a stinging or warm sensation on the skin for a few minutes, but chemical peels do not hurt. Ice is often applied immediately after the peel to cool down warm sensation.

Salicylic Acid Peel

What is a salicylic acid peel for Acne?


Salicylic acid peels are in-office peels performed that effectively treat acne. Salicylic acid peels are great for treating comedonal acne. They also have anti-inflammatory effects that can decrease the erythema (redness) associated with acne. These peels are often used in concentrations of 30% for acne.


What should I expect during my visit for a chemical peel?


Prior to having your salicylic acid peel, you will use cleanser to clean the surface of your skin. Acetone is then use to remove the stratum corneum (the outermost top skin layer) before your salicylic acid peel. The salicylic acid peeling agent is then applied to the skin and left in place between two and five minutes before it is neutralized. Sunscreen will be provided before you leave the office and we will review the post-procedure instructions, so that you know what to expect following the chemical peel. Some dryness and redness is normal after a salicylic acid peel, but you may not experience actual “peeling.”


Is the salicylic acid peel a new type of chemical peel for acne? Is it the best peel for acne?


Salicylic acid has been used in medicine and aesthetics for many years. It is a very safe medication with a variety of uses. There is a newer derivative of salicylic acid, called beta-lipohydroxy acid that is sometimes used in acne treatments and chemical peels. Salicylic acid has remained in the forefront of acne treatment options and in-office chemical peeling agents for many years due to its very effective nature and impressive results. It is considered one of the best peels for active acne. Salicylic acid peels are available for at-home or "spa" use, but due to the lower concentration compared to medical-grade peels, the results are not as impressive.

What is the cost of a salicylic acid peel?


The price of a salicylic acid peel varies by the part of the body being treated. Salicylic acid peels are commonly used on the face, chest and back. The cost of a salicylic peel to the face is $175 at Clear Clinic in Manhattan.


Facial treatments have been popular for years, but what is the difference between a facial and a “clinical” facial?


Facial treatments can play a key role in promoting and maintaining healthy skin. Most facials are considered a relaxing treatment, similar to a massage. These facials usually include cleansing, exfoliating and massaging the skin and applying a mask and moisturizer.

Clinical facial treatments are different from the treatments described above. The purpose of a clinical facial, although relaxing and pleasing to the senses, it is to promote and then maintain healthy skin. Our clinical facial focuses on exfoliation, hydration and increased blood and lymph flow to improve the health and appearance of your skin. We use only the highest-grade professional products available.​

As part of your skin analysis, we will recommend a morning and evening regimen for your home skin care, incorporating existing products you may have and/ or skin care products from our studio. By following the suggested home regimen and scheduling regular clinical facial treatments (every 6 – 8 weeks), your skin will respond with a healthy, younger looking glow. Clinical Corrective Facials. Revive. Repair. Reveal.

Vi Peel Facial Treatment


With Vi Peel, there is dramatic and effective removal of the skin hyper pigmentation and noticeable reduction of the scarring in just one week. This treatment helps stimulate growth of new skin with improved texture and tone. It helps promote healing and rejuvenates sluggish, stressed skin. Residual acne may also benefit greatly. This treatment is ideal two weeks before a special event, resulting in a radiant, healthy look that lasts up to several months.


Boston Acne Specialists offers a wide selection of powerful, medical-grade chemical peels for treatment of Acne Scarring and Acne Pigmentation in Cambridge, Revere, Braintree, Quincy, Somerville and the Greater Boston area. 

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