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Chemical Skin Peels

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Chemical Skin Peels
Chemical peels are more often used these days to combat stressed and dull skin. Check out the different peeling agents and their suitability for your skin condition.

More and more women are going in for this non-invasive method of rejuvenating dull skin on the hands, neck and face. When the chemical solution is applied on the skin, it causes it to blister and finally peel off.

The epidermal layer is subject to trauma with the chemicals in the peel so as to cause blistering and peeling off. This allows regenerated skin to be formed which is softer and smoother in texture. It peels off a layer of damaged skin to reveal regenerated fresh skin underneath.

Fine lines disappear. Acne scars and pits reduce considerably. There is noticeable improvement in the case of sun damaged skin, freckles and age spots. Women suffering from Melasma (dark colored patches on the face) or Chloasma can check out chemical peels that suit their skin types. But chemical peels are not the solution for sagging skin or wrinkles.

Superficial peels, medium peels and deep peels vary on the basis of their active ingredients and pH levels. Lower the pH, deeper its penetration. The type of peel is decided by the beauty consultant based on your skin type. Careful evaluation of the skin has to be done before choosing a chemical skin peel for the face. Light skinned persons are ideal for this kind of face peels. Darker skins need more careful

After the peel procedure, redness and blistering is noticed. There might be slight swelling too. Sun exposure must be avoided for a few days. Skin peeling is a factor of the type of chemical solution, its strength and how long it is left on.

Types of Face Peels

Light Peels

Light peels can be repeated every month. They are often used to improve skin dullness and bring radiance. Light peels remove just the epidermal layer lending the skin a brighter and smoother texture. Alpha hydroxyl (AHA) and beta hydroxy (BHA) are light peels that usually use glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid. Citric acid and malic acid are used in mild peels. They are effective in treating rosacea, mild pigmentation and eczema.

Fruit enzymes from sugarcane, pineapples and cranberries are often used. Fruit enzymes are best suited for those who have dehydrated skin or sensitive skin. Modern peels provide better benefits sans the side effects of deeper peels. They also deliver vitamins and antioxidants into the skin allowing regeneration. Mild tingling or stinging sensation is felt. Recovery from the skin flaking is faster. Often a soothing gel is applied post light peel treatment.

Medium Peels

Medium peels can be used twice a year. The results from these peels are more obvious than with light peels. These peels are usually TCA (trichloroacetic acid) based and help treat sun damage and pigmentation. The recovery time is longer. The discomfort during medium-strength peel procedure is more. In fact the skin might appear swollen and itchy.

Top 2 layers of the skin are removed. A saline compress is placed for a few minutes on the treated skin to reduce side effects. Here too, a petrolatum-based gel is applied to minimize scabbing. Over 2 weeks, the damaged skin gradually dries and peels off. Use of sun block is necessary.

Deep peels

Deep chemical peels use very strong solutions from carbolic acid (Phenol peels) or high strength TCA so as to penetrate deeper layers of the skin. The skin becomes red and painful for a few weeks thereafter. Scabs are formed and then the skin peels off. But it carries the risks of hypopigmentation and scarring. Burn marks or deep acne pits might need this strength of peels.

Even the third layer of skin is removed with this peel. This procedure is usually done by a doctor under mild sedation. This procedure takes about an hour. Pain relieving medication might be prescribed. Swelling and oozing occurs in the first week as the damaged skin dries and peels off. After initial redness, the new skin takes on a mild pinkish hue. This gradually subsides.

Peeling agents

Glycolic Peel: These peels are used to look radiant and fresh. Glycolic acid comes in different strengths and pH. The cosmetician has to choose a strength that is best suited for the skin condition being addressed. Tartaric acid from grapes is used in mild peels instead of glycolic acid. It aids skin hydration and treats mild pigmentation and rosacea.

Trichloroacetic Acid Peel: Such peels work well for fair skins and are not suitable for those with sensitive skin. These peels soften acne scars and blotchy pigmented skin. TCA is stronger than glycolic and penetrates deeper. But it works on fine lines, large pores and hyper pigmentation.

Modified Jessner Peel: This peel is a boon for those who have acne scars. There is marked improvement in skin texture.

Salicylic Peel: These peels are best suited for those with oily skin, sensitive skin and acne. Salicylic acid penetrates through oil glands making it ideal for oily and acne skin.

Most often, those who have undergone chemical skin peels are asked not to expose themselves to sunlight and UV light. Use of a sun block is a must. You must not go in for chemical skin peels if you have a tendency to scar, open sores or autoimmune disease. The skin might feel tight and dry for a few days following the peel. Avoid strenuous exercise to avoid too much sweating. Don't use a sauna or hot tub.

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