When you have skin issues that go beyond what an alpha hydroxy acid peel can treat, you may need to have a Jessner peel. A Jessner peel is a combination peel that consists of salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol. It is a medium-depth peel that penetrates beyond the top layers of the skin. The most common uses for Jessner peels are to treat sun damage and skin discoloration.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Petroleum jelly
- Dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon
- Glycolic cleanser
- Calming cream or mask
Get your skin evaluated by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. There are a variety of chemical peels you can choose from, and a doctor can help you decide if a Jessner peel is right for you.
Prepare your skin for the peel by using Retin-A nightly for 2 to 3 weeks. This is not always a necessary step, but may be recommended by your doctor.
Have the first layer, also known as the "horny" layer, of skin removed using a glycolic cleanser. The glycolic cleanser allows the Jessner solution to be absorbed better.
Apply the Jessner solution to the desired areas. The most common area treated by Jessner peels is the face, but it can also be applied to hands, chests, necks and anywhere with sun damage. The solution is usually left on for about 10 minutes, and then neutralized and removed with cool water.
Use a calming cream or mask on your skin after the peel is removed. This will help ease the discomfort, protect the skin and encourage healing to begin.
Expect the skin to start peeling within a few days and last for about a week. Don't pick at the flaking skin--allow it come off naturally. Pulling off peeling skin can cause scarring and/or infection.
Tips and warnings
- A thin layer of petroleum jelly can be applied to the skin once a day for the first 4 days.
- Wear sunblock every day after the first week of recovery. The skin will still be healing for several weeks, and during that time, it will be vulnerable.
- Use moisturizers sparingly immediately after the peel as they can diminish the effectiveness of the peel. Moisturizer can and should be applied to cracked and peeling areas, however, to prevent scarring.
- When the Jessner solution is sitting on your skin, it does burn. A fan blowing on your skin can help reduce the discomfort.
- Stay out of the sun for at least a week after the peel. If you must go out, wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and protect any other treated areas.