Salicylic Acid also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid or ‘BHA’ is similar to Glycolic Acid in the sense that it helps to exfoliate your skin cells but it does it at more of a superficial level. Salicylic Acid is derived from acetic anhydride, also known as your common household painkiller, aspirin. BHA peels are great for patients who have active acne and Actinic Keratosis also known as precancerous lesions since it’s keratolytic, which means it’s helping to break up the top layer of the epidermis.
Depending on the strength of the Salicylic Acid, ‘flaking or shedding’ of skin is the most common side effect which typically happens on the second or third day after the peel.
We highly recommend that all patients seeing us for a chemical peel to stop the use of all Salicylic and Glycolic Acids as well as any Retinol, Tretinoin & Retin-A for 3-5 days pre/post treatment. Staying out of the sun when the UV rays are at their peak as any chemical peels make your skin more photosensitive.