Chemical Peels

Peels have been  used for many years to help rejuvenate the skin. Even the ancient Egyptians kings and queens used these to get their skin looking younger again.

What does a chemical feel like when it’s being done?

If you have a chemical peel, you are going to feel a tingly sensation as the therapist puts the liquid carefully on your skin. The deeper peels like the TCA can be a bit uncomfortable The peel damages a few of the cells in the uppermost layers of your skin. If you happen to have a deeper peel more cells are removed. What then happens is usually that the skin regenerates and the old is replaced with a gorgeous new layer of skin in its place. Not only that, but you also experience fewer brown spots and reduced pigmentation.

What are the different types of chemical peels?

There are differing types of peels. Glycolic acid is really a light peel and provides you with a mild effect by removing just the very topmost layer of skin cells. A good example of a glycolic peel would be the Dermapure Milk Peel.  This is one of my favourite entry level peels. It contains a combination of glycolic acid (50%), lactic acid (dairy milk contains lactic acid, that’s why it’s called a Milk Peel) and salicylic acid. It gives a lovely refreshed glow to your skin to help you look radiant and refreshed. Stronger peel chemicals like TCA go deep-down within your skin and so you get a more obvious result. The trade-off is that you might need to take some time off work to have a TCA peel but with a milk peel there is usually no down-time, although very occasionally people can experience a few days of redness.

The milk peel is also an excellent treatment for reducing the amount and severity of acne break-outs, as it contains salicylic acid as well as glycolic. Salicylic acid is very good for getting rid of white-heads and black-heads. Be aware though, that with any chemical peel treatment, your acne can get worse before it gets better.

How does a chemical peel work?

Each time a superficial peel takes away the top layer of cells your skin layer is programmed to react to this damage by producing new skin cells. So it’s just using the human body’s natural repair mechanism. The result following a couple of weeks is a beautiful radiant complexion, an altogether fresher and smoother look. You’ll feel a different soft and smooth texture within your skin. For people with brown discolouration in your skin after pregnancy or brown age spots these could also be diminished.

With medium peels (for instance a TCA peel like the excellent Dermaceutic Cosmo Peel the result is deeper which means you get new collagen and elastic fibres too. This can be a great help for wrinkles and lines. But with the deeper peels you get more redness and peeling so plan to take some time out of your work or social life if that impinges on you. You could get some short term darkening in your skin before it peels off with the medium peels. Rarely you can get areas of permanent increased or decreased skin colour after treatment using a medium peel, though normally, this is only a risk with with darker kinds of skin.

How can a chemical peel help me?

A chemical peel can help if you have you got:

– a pale, sallow expression
– environmental sun damage or pigmentation
– facial lines or wrinkles
– acne or acne scars. A few light glycolic peels is usually a good way to help your acne and help to bring back your normal looking skin.

Light glycolic peels are user-friendly, they usually are carried out in around 30 minutes and you’ll go back to work with minimal or no redness. The impact of the peel usually continue for two or three months.

What about those deeper wrinkles and lines? Crow’s feet lines adjacent to your eyes and also the lines beneath your eyes could be a big age giveaway. Four or five medium peels will usually diminish their look.

Peel away your neck and chest

How about your neck and chest? These areas in many cases are neglected and may really give away your age. Well peels work just great on your neck and chest and may help rid you of age spots and wrinkles there too. You’ll also feel a beautiful improvement in skin texture on your neck and chest after having a chemical peel.

Who can’t have a chemical peel?

So is there anybody who can’t have a chemical peel? Needless to say, if you may be pregnant, don’t go near any chemicals. This too applies if you happen to be allergic. Some people have skin that is very likely to get colour changes with just about any inflammation or injury. The light (superficial) peels tend to be acceptable for all skin types however you must ensure that the operator is well-trained and uses the appropriate protocol for your skin type.

How painful is a chemical peel?

Will you experience pain with chemical peels? Well to an extent it all depends on how quickly you feel pain. Light peels are nearly pain-free. The medium peels do entail some discomfort, but are over with quickly. After a couple of weeks you will be able to relish in the new you!

Tracey - April 29, 2011

How much peeling would you expect after the medium peel? Would I still be able to go to work? (I’m a teacher). Thanks.

    DrMark - April 29, 2011

    With the Cosmo Peel, which is TCA based, the amount of peeling that people normally experience is usually quite mild, and typically lasts two or three days. Sometimes it can be more severe or longer lasting so this should be taken into account when planning your peel. The upside of this is that you experience a more profound and long lasting rejuvenation than with the superficial peel.

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