Acids in skin care part 1 - contraindications, complications and adverse effects

DOTTORE acids part 1

Glycolic acid - reigning on the list of popular acids in cosmetics - is a substance that can contribute to the wow effect, but only if there are no contraindications. Like retinol, it is a potent ingredient, so used carelessly, without knowledge or consultation with a specialist, it can cause damage.

Contraindications to treatments with acids

Listed in this category should be:

- pregnancy and lactation period,
- interrupted continuity of the epidermis (this applies to injuries, fresh scars, erosions, as well as superficial abrasions)
- dermatological diseases,
- active viral infections (e.g. herpes) and bacterial infections,
- ongoing light therapy,
- allergies,
- psycho-physical condition of the patient,
- fresh tan.

Once again we would like to remind you that during the acid treatment you should not expose yourself to the sun - we strongly advise you to cancel the solarium.

It is also recommended to be careful with retinol, which can further irritate the skin.


At least one week before the treatment you should not undergo treatments such as microdermabrasion, cavitation and waxing patches.

In case of men - shave your face the day before and not on the day of the procedure!


If we are honest with the specialist performing the procedure and have not concealed any of the contraindications listed above, complications are extremely rare. However, if we have not admitted something or have not listened to the instructions after the procedure, we may end up with an adverse outcome. What are the most common complications that occur after an acid treatment?

- Discoloration - the most well-known, most common in this category, and the one that causes the most concern. Discoloration occurs when the pigment in the skin is unevenly distributed. This can happen due to an inflammatory reaction or irritation.

- Demarcation lines - this is the result of visiting an untested specialist without the proper credentials. Demarcation lines are the trace of a boundary on the skin, where the product was applied. There is a noticeable difference in the appearance of the skin there. This is why it is important to apply acids to the entire area and not a section of skin.

-Scarring - also an effect of improperly performed treatment. It occurs when the concentration of acid is too high, the time of action on the skin is too long or the neutralization was not performed properly.

- Permanent erythema - associated with individual hypersensitivity, but the main cause is the incorrect adjustment of the active substance to the needs of the skin.

Is it worth using acids?

Looking at the above paragraphs it seems that acids are better to avoid... but luckily appearances are deceiving! Acids have been used in cosmetics for years. There are a few requirements that must be met in order to use them safely, but if we take care of it as a result we get beautiful, refreshed, smooth skin.


Indications for acid treatment are as many as contraindications, and maybe even more. When is it worth undergoing treatment with acids?

Acids are most often associated with anti-aging treatments. Very rightly so, as they achieve spectacular results in this field. The basic function of each acid in cosmetics is to stimulate microcellular regeneration and exfoliation of dead skin cells. As a result, keratinized epidermis disappears, giving way to fresh, smooth skin. This promotes the shallowing of existing wrinkles and delays the appearance of further wrinkles.

The use of acid is also recommended for acne-prone skin, prone to impurities and imperfections. Specific acids (such as salicylic acid) have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects. Mandelic acid regulates the sebaceous glands - overproduction of sebum aggravates the problem of acne.

For different skin problems, other acids are used in different concentrations.


City SUN - when we talk about acids, the mention of photoprotection is essential. The use of acids excludes exposure to the sun. It is recommended to use a high sunscreen regardless of the season. City SUN SPF50+ is a cream, which combines moisturizing effect with the highest possible sun protection. Additionally - it is quickly absorbed and does not leave white marks!

S.O.S. - chemical peels, or treatments based on high concentrations of acids irritate the skin. It is worth having at home a preparation that accelerates healing of the epidermis, moisturizes it and makes it more flexible. S.O.S. is a cream that has previously been used only in beauty parlors and aesthetic medicine. Now it is available for home care! It will also prove useful in winter, when the skin is irritated by frost and wind.

Novo - this is the first step for people who haven't used acids before but want to try it. Safe concentration of glycolic acid (8%) in the worst case can pinch a little - it does not burn and does not cause discoloration. The skin after use (even the first one) becomes visibly rejuvenated and smoothed.

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