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Acne Therapy: Pill or Peel

A dermatologist may elect to prescribe oral antibiotics, in addition to topical therapies, for the treatment of acne vulgaris that is moderate to severe, causing scaring, and/or unresponsive to topical therapies alone. However, in an effort to avoid the potential for bacterial resistance, oral antibiotics are discontinued after 2-3 months. The use of oral antibiotics for a short-term will also protect against unintentional changes in the body's good bacteria that can lead to vaginal candidiasis, a.k.a. yeast infection, or diarrhea when altered.

So, what other options are there? Chemical peels are one of my favorite treatment options for mild to moderate acne. They act directly at the source, bypassing the potential for systemic side effects. In addition to treating acne, peels can improve the skin's overall appearance, tone, and texture. Yes, this includes reducing the appearance of acne scars.

After 2 Vi Peels

After 2 Vi Peels

After 3 Vi Purify Peels

After 3 Vi Purify Peels


Here are a few common Q&A's about chemical peels:

Are they safe?

Yes, when performed properly, in the hands of the right professional

What skin types are appropriate for a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are safe for all skin types, when the right chemical and concentration is selected

What type of chemical peels are there?

Chemical peels fall into three main categories:

  • superficial

  • medium

  • deep

They are made up of a single or combination of chemicals, in various concentrations, to achieve the desired depth of peel.

How often can they be repeated?

Every 2-4 weeks, depending on the type

Can they be done at home?

This is not typically advised unless the chemical peel is clearly labeled for "home use". Otherwise, it is always best to have a professional perform the chemical peel in an office to decrease the risk of complications, such as permanent scarring or discoloration.


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