We as women are obsessed with keeping our skin looking healthy and youthful. A wrinkle, discoloration, acne and any other mar on our perfect assets causes panic. This is why so many of us opt for monthly facials, use special products to moisturize and clean the skin, and sometimes even get a chemical peel. But what exactly is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a solution that is applied to your skin, allowed to soak in and then will peel off the unhealthy skin or that which will allow for new, healthier cells to come to the surface. This can take up to 14 days for the peeling process to complete, leaving the face exfoliated and looking better than ever. These days, one can go for the chemical peel during lunch break and come back looking fresh and radiant. The point is to rid yourself of sun damage, photo-aging, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as discoloration and hyperpigmentation. There are different types of chemical peels, but most dermatologists opt for a more shallow penetration. The three types of peels include:
• Superficial peels are the mildest and fit for all types of skin, usually using liquid with diluted glycolic or salicyclic acid. Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) is also used sometimes.
• Medium peels go deeper than superficial peels and cause a second-degree burn of the skin, wherein trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the main peeling agent. This does result in impressive improvement to skin texture, reduction in pigmentation and freckling, as well as some pre-skin cancers. Fine lines and acne scars may not be fully removed but they do become less obvious.
• Deep peels penetrate several layers of skin, and are used only on the face. The problem with this is the second-degree burn of the skin, using a chemical called phenol. Deep peels may not be used on darker skin types due to bleaching aspects and even lighter-skinned individuals are warned about this procedure. This is used to treat severe photo-aging and wrinkles, but require long recovery times. Scarred tissue is also a risk you run.
Normally it’s the superficial peels that are done and there are no tell-tale signs left afterwards. On the other hand, there need to be more treatments taken to see results, with the average being 5 sessions. The controlled injury to the skin cells allows for the rejuvenation of the skin as a whole. All the treatments are relatively safe, but you are working with chemicals and only experienced professionals should be allowed to do peels on you.
You also have both in-office and at-home chemical peels to choose from, wherein the concentration of each is quite different, the stronger of which is by a medical professional at the office. Plus, certain topical agents can be added in tandem, making the peel all the more efficient. Normally peels are performed every 3-4 weeks and require about 5 treatment sessions. After going through with the peel, you should make sure you follow up by moisturizing on a daily basis, avoiding sun exposure until the peeling has stopped and always using sunscreen when going out. You should always cleanse your skin with water or special ointment given by your surgeon, while if you went through deeper peels, you might need to change the dressing or ointment on your wound.
At the end of the day, you have to decide if the chemical peel is right for you. Also, you might want to know the difference between the different types of peels for every skin type has different needs one can cater to. Superficial peels are probably your best bet unless you have severe skin problems in need of correction.
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