Chemical peels are popular cosmetic treatments that help to even the skin tone, texture and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. As African American skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation than other skin types, many African Americans look to chemical peels as an option to quickly even the skin tone. Not all cosmetic procedures that suit Caucasian skin types will suit other skin types so you may be wondering about chemical peels for African American skin. There are several different types of chemical peel available and some are definitely not recommended for African American skin. Whether you perform the peel at your dermatologist’s office or at home, this article will tell you about the different types of chemical peels for African American skin.
There are superficial peels, medium surface peels and deep chemical peels available. Phenol peels are the deepest kind of peel that there is available and are definitely not recommended for black skin as there is a risk of severe damage. Phenol peels are used to treat scars, deep wrinkles or severely sun-damaged skin and can only be carried out once in a person’s lifetime. A phenol peel cannot be carried out at home and the patient is usually under general anaesthetic while the peel is applied.
TCA or trichloroethanoic acid is a medium surface peel and should not be carried out at home on African American skin. TCA is excellent for fading dark marks, evening the skin tone and lightening the skin but should really be carried out by a licensed professional. Ensure your dermatologist is experienced in carrying out TCA peels on dark skin before making an appointment.
Superficial peels are by far the safest but they are also effective at dealing with skin discolorations. Salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid can all be used for superficial peels. Lactic acid is the mildest of the three but it can be used weekly or every two weeks depending on the concentration of the acid used. Lactic acid is effective for fading acne scars and other minor hyperpigmentation problems.
Salicylic acid is usually used for treating acne more than for hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid is often found in face washes and moisturizers that are used to treat pimples or acne problems.
Glycolic acid is the strongest of the superficial peels and is effective at treating mild hyperpigmentation on African American skin.
It is important to remember as effective as these peels are for treating hyperpigmentation, they are acids and carelessness can damage your skin. When carrying out chemical peels for African American skin, be sure to discuss it with your dermatologist and follow the instructions very carefully if you decide to do it at home.
If you would like to know more about the chemical peel process or wondering what concentration to use, check out these articles: