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Jessners peel

The Jessners peel is a popular medium-strength chemical peel.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • What skin products can't be used if I just had a Jessners peel?
  • Is my skin the appropriate shade to use Jessners?

Pre-procedure prep for Jessners peel: You may be instructed to apply a topical retin-A for two weeks prior to a Jessners peel.

On the day of treatment: Do not wear makeup on your skin.

What To Expect

First, a dermatologist or skin technician will clean your skin with a glycolic cleanser to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and any natural oils (which can make the peel less effective). One to two thin coatings of Jessners solution is then evenly applied to the skin with gauze pads. A third layer can be applied to produce an even deeper peel.

Immediately after the solution is applied to the skin, a frothy, white film will appear on the skin's surface. The frost can last several hours, though it eventually disappears.

Who should do it: The peel can be purchased over the counter, and no special licensing is required. However, if you have any concerns or if this is the first time you have used a Jessners peel, see a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Duration: Once it's spread onto your skin, Jessners solution is left to settle for about 10 minutes. During the time, the chemicals penetrate your pores. When your practitioner determines that the Jessners solution is ready to be removed, your face will be washed with cool water.

How Painful Is It?

The chemical solution may cause a slight but tolerable burning feeling, which can be eased with the use of a fan or some other mechanism that delivers cool air to the skin. A cold compress may help once the solution is wiped off.

Options for anesthesia: Anesthesia is unnecessary during a Jessners peel. If you're anxious about the stinging sensation, talk to your dermatologist about a topical numbing cream ahead of time.

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