What treatment can be used to lighten pigmentation caused by acne?

A Jessner’s peel can treat acne scars by re-texturising thickened or oily skin, and improve the appearance of large pores. In addition, it will exfoliate the skin’s upper layer and allow improved absorption of products.

What are the contra-indications?

If you have allergies to aspirin based products (salicylates), resorcinol or lactic acid you cannot have a peel. Other contra-indications are using Roaccutane in the last 6 months, dermatitis or infection in the area that needs to be treated. Pregnancy and abnormal wound healing are also contra-indicated.

How many sessions will I need?

We recommend a course of 4 peels. This, of course, depends on the skin type, the skin condition, peel strength, and desired outcome.

What does it feel like?

Jessner’s solution is at a low pH, so it will sting a little. Throughout the application (10-20 minutes) the patient holds a device, which gently blows out cool air – this helps to reduce the sting.

How will my skin look after the treatment?

Expect mild to moderate redness and sensitivity (similar to a sunburn) lasting 12 to 48 hours. The skin will feel tight and dry. Some darkened areas of skin may occur (this is the skin preparing to shed). A varying amount of mild to moderate flaking/peeling can occur for approximately 3-7 days after your treatment. After the dead skin sheds, your skin will have a healthy glow, and feel softer and smoother. It is vitally important to protect your new skin from sun by using a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 30+ sunscreen daily.

What are the potential complications?

If the peeling skin is removed prematurely, prolonged healing and/or infection is possible and may lead to scarring. You could experience a herpes simplex outbreak if prone to cold sores. Hyperpigmentation (darker areas of pigment on the skin) lasting 1 to 12 months can occur. Some people may experience mild temporary swelling of treatment area (rare).

Will my skin be prepared for the treatment?

We recommend that the skin is primed with active ingredients at least two weeks prior to having the Jessner’s peel. This is to maximise the peel’s outcomes, speeding the healing time, and reduce the risk of post peel complications. A specific skin care regime will be recommended to you during your initial consultation.

What are the after-care instructions?

Avoid the use of moisturizers or lotions containing active ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acids, perfumes and colors. Please use the moisturizer supplied to you for 3-7 days or until your skin is no longer sensitive. Thereafter, continue with your usual moisturizers unless advised otherwise. Your skin will be a little more sensitive to the sun so keep sun exposure to a minimum. Please wear a hat and sunscreen daily. This should be a regular routine for you anyway!

What are the expected changes over the next 7 to 14 days?

  • Day 1 to 3 – Tight, dry skin with moderate redness and sensitivity
  • Day 2 to 5 – Areas of darkened skin (this is the old skin in preparation to peel)
  • Day 3 to 7 – Peeling or slight flaking lasting 2 to 5 days

How much does it cost?

The Jessner’s peel costs R1 100 per session.
One session will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


Before and After treatment images of Acne scars

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