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What is a salicylic acid peel?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
In 1998, 30% salicylic acid peels were developed. This is a beta hydroxy acid dissolved in alcohol and water. These peels cause fading of pigment spots, decreased surface roughness, and reduction of fine lines. They are particularly effective when patients have acne, as salicylic acid is the chemical in many acne scrubs. However, the peels have never been particularly popular.
Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

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Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? ...
Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
Salicylic acid in concentrations of 5%-30% penetrates the epidermis (upper layers of the skin) to exfoliate the surface layer of dead skin cells and cleanse away acne-forming bacteria. Remaining surface impurities can then be removed during acne surgery. This is a process whereby blackheads are manually extracted using special instruments designed for this purpose. It should not be done at home or with your fingers. Your skin will be clearer, more refined and smoother. I recommend one treatment per month for two or three months and then as needed for maintenance

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.