So the other day I had beautiful woman ask me about Glycolic Peel for dark skin. Having heard mixed messages about whether or not chemical peels was good for dark skin, it prompt me to do some research on the benefits of all the different acids out there, how Glycolic Acid is especially good for Dark Skin.
“I am a deep dark skinned woman of African descent. I would like to try a peel in order to get rid of my hyper-pigmentation, blemishes, and acne prone skin. I heard of your business, but I was reluctant to make a purchase because many people told me that skin peels are not suitable for darker skin types. They said that if I get a peel, it will worsen my problem and cause even more hyper-pigmentation and possible scarring. Is this true?”
When it comes to addressing irregularities on dark skin, you have to take precaution, regardless of any skin type or tone.
Glycolic acid peels for hyper-pigmentation are given as a series of four to six treatments, each one spaced about a month apart when performed at a medical-spa or dermatologist’s office. Peels range in strength from 10 to 60 percent. For darker skin tones, higher concentration of acid in chemical peels have the potential to further damage skin.
Glycolic acid is tolerated well by darker pigmented skins, especially when the treatment strength is gradually increased over time, according to “Glycolic Acid Peels,” by Ronald L. Moy. However, glycolic acid is not for everyone. While common side effects include temporary stinging, redness and mild irritation, more severe reactions can result in scarring and even worse hyper-pigmentation. As with all medicines, consult a professional before use.
Chemical peels (usually a series of peels) that exfoliate the skin can be used to lighten dark spots. There is a distinction though between true scars and dark spots.
I would caution you that in individuals with darker skin, the risk of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (i.e. darkening of the skin with any procedure) is greater. When I administer chemical peels for individuals with darker skin, I might start with a single coat of a light chemical peeling agent, e.g. salicylic acid. A test spot can also be done to see whether darker pigmentation occurs as a result of the application of the peeling agent.
In patients with darker skin complexion, chemical peels can be very useful. However, patients should be cautioned about the higher risk of skin pigmentation. These patients should be prescribed pre and post procedural pigmentation programs to control the incidence and severity of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
Discolorations can be treated with a series of light chemical peels and bleaching creams. The cost of the light peels are roughly $250-350 each and are done about every 2-3 weeks. Black patients do very well with this combination of light peels and prescription bleaching creams
Nobody wants to be sad and have “bad” skin… everybody wants to be happy with good skin!