A Jessner peel is a popular medium-depth chemical peel that works to improve skin health by helping remove and heal skin damage that is more extensive than regular “wear and tear.” This skin care treatment is stronger than most superficial chemical peels, and therefore creates more damage to the skin in the process, so we prefer skin types 1-4 because skin type 5 and up are at more risk of permanent damage. The Jessner peel consists of three main ingredients: lactic acid (assists in the exfoliation of the skin), salicylic acid (aids in penetration), and resorcinol (assists in the treatment of acne).

What Does It Do?

Here are some of the primary benefits of getting a Jessner peel:

  • The peel helps to smooth out various fine lines and wrinkles
  • It may reduce the appearance of acne scarring
  • It can reduce the of appearance of large pores
  • May improve the overall complexion of the face
  • In some cases may lighten areas of skin discoloration
  • Can help loosen and reduce acne
  • Assists with treatment of melasma
  • Restores skin to a more healthy, youthful glow
  • Can act as a customized treatment for more extensive skin damage

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How It Works

A Jessner peel is comprised of three primary ingredients. These ingredients work together to exfoliate the outer layers of skin by breaking up dead skin cells. This treatment encourages the natural peeling to start several days after the chemical treatment. In the office, your skin is thoroughly cleansed and then the peel chemicals are applied. As a general rule, 2-5 coats are applied for the best possible results. Typically, a lightweight moisturizer or a calming mask is applied to the skin at the end of the treatment and you can go about the rest of your day.

If necessary, the Jessner peel can be repeated every four weeks until the desired results are achieved.

What to Expect

First, you will experience dry, tight skin with slight redness. Your skin may also be overly sensitive. It will peel for about a week after the treatment and you can expect your skin to turn from a pink shade to a shade of brown. When the old, damaged skin has all peeled away, you will be left with more refreshed, glowing skin.

Keep in mind that the deeper the Jessner peel penetrates your skin, the longer the recovery time will be, and the more you become at risk of experiencing potential side effects.

Who Cannot Undergo the Jessner Peel Treatment

There are several conditions that are considered to be contra indicators for anyone considering a Jessner peel.

  • Active cold sores, sunburn, or severe asthma
  • Lupus
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic skin disorders and dermatitis conditions

Side Effects of a Jessner Peel

With exception of skin redness and general discomfort, there is not a significant number of serious side effects associated with the Jessner peel. However, it is important to discuss this procedure with your doctor to make sure that your skin will not suffer any adverse effects. Some of the more minor side effects that you may experience when you have the Jessner peel may include:

  • Prolonged healing as well as infection are both possible if the peeling skin is removed prematurely
  • Cold sores may appear, if you are already susceptible to them
  • Temporary swelling of the treated area
  • Mild redness
  • Itching, especially if you undergo a deeper chemical peel

Before you have the Jessner peel, make sure to speak to your doctor or skin care specialist about all of your options, to ensure that you are not undergoing a treatment that is more drastic than necessary.