The development of acne begins when the normal functions of the hair follicle and the sebaceous gland are disrupted. This may be due to a build up of dead skin cells or the follicle may become irritated for some reason or it could be in response to some trauma. When this happens the result may be an accumulation of keratinized cells rather than the usual shedding and the follicle becomes blocked. The resultant build up of sebum and cells results in even more cells being produced. The plug increases in size, become distended and forms a closed comedone which is what we see as a pimple.
One of the treatment options that may be used to clear up this mild form of acne is known as glycolic acid. A glycolic acid acne treatment works by decreasing the ability of skin cells to adhere to one another. Subsequently, what happens is that the acid is able to aid in the removal of the keratinous plug. The glycolic acid molecules are important in this because they are small enough to penetrate deeply into the blocked follicle.
The way to apply the glycolic acid to your face as a treatment may be done in a number of ways but an extremely effective treatment is to use it as a glycolic acid peel. Chemical peels using glycolic acid are available in a range of strength or acid concentration allowing you to choose how vigorously you want to treat your skin.
As a part of the effectiveness of glycolic acid in its effects on epidermal cells is that the spaces between the cells open up which makes the skin more easily penetrated by other substances too. This means that after a facial peel using glycolic acid acne drugs such as retinoids become far more effective.
You can either go to a dermatologist to perform the chemical peel for you or you can buy an over the counter kit and perform the peel yourself. The strength of the peel done by the qualified professional is higher than the take home pack with the professionally applied treatment ranging in concentration from 20% up to 80%. There are side effects when dealing with glycolic acid peels and that's why the more heavily concentrated treatments are performed by professionals.
One thing to note is that following a glycolic acid peel the skin will be very sensitive to the sun and can result in hyperpigmentation. It is imperative that patients who have had a peel use sunscreen daily for a period of time that should be recommended to you by the dermatologist. You may also find that the skin may range in color from pink to red in color and that there is some mild swelling followed a few days later by some peeling but it should resolve itself within a week.
A glycolic acid peel for acne control is an effective treatment for people who suffer from mild to moderate acne. It is best performed by a dermatologist although you can perform your own peel using a product containing a lower concentration of glycolic acid.