Dull and uneven skin tone result from combined effect of environmental and skin related factors. These work constantly to wear down the skin resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and skin ageing. Our skin has the ability to constantly renews itself from the ‘basal layer’. These cells have regenerating properties and constantly keep dividing. The dead cells accumulate on top to form a separate layer. Removal of this layer is important to ensure healthy cell turnover. Keeping the pores unclogged and removing superficial tan is important for skin health and youthfulness. This exfoliation can be achieved in a controlled fashion by chemical peels.
WHAT IS CHEMICAL PEEL?
Chemical peel is a dermatological procedure, wherein a medicated solution is applied on the skin, to get a desired outcome/result. It is one of the most common procedures in aesthetic practice. Minimal downtime associated with the procedure is one of the reasons for its popularity among patients. ‘Peels’ are mild chemicals that are used for specific indications such as acne, pigmentation, ant ageing etc. These are applied for a specific amount of time under the supervision of a medical expert. It cause controlled wounding of the skin, stimulating new cell layer to form. The ‘new skin’ formed is freasher and youthful. Chemical peels can be done on face, neck, hands and back.
Peeling is an in office procedure performed at the clinic. It is preceded by thorough skin evaluation by an expert. Consultation by an expert is essential for skin analysis and making the choice of right peel. Multiple sessions are required at 2-3 weekly intervals. The skin is prepared by cleansing it off the dirt. The peel is then applied and left on the skin to act. It is neutralised with a neutralizer. Post peel skin care is applied thereafter.
Test peeling is done to rule out any sensitivity to the peeling product being used. A small area of the skin is demarcated behind the ear. Small amount of the peel is applied and washed off. Any reaction on the skin such as redness, irritation, rashes, tingling etc. is noted.
Types of peel
Depending on the depth of penetration the chemical peels are of three types-Superficial, medium and deep. The superficial peels are mild acids that penetrate only till the upper skin layers. These are used to treat uneven skin tone and tanning. Moderate depth peels penetrate till mid thickness of the skin and are thus used for treating aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles. It stimulates the synthesis of collagen in the skin. Deeper peels penetrate till the deeper skin layers and gives good results in deep acne scars and deeper wrinkles.
Salicylic acid and yellow peels are anti-acne peels. Salicylic acid has unique property of penetrating in the oil glands of the skin. It is very effective in reducing oiliness and acne of the face and body. It has antibacterial and keratolytic property. Due to these properties, salicylic acid peels have very gratifying results in acne. Yellow peels have additional advantage of lightening post acne pigmentation and marks.
Peels that work on pigmentation are hydroquinone based, mandelic, kojic acid and phenol based. Pigmentation peels lightens colour by decreasing the production of melanin in the melanocytes, also called as pigment producing cells. Melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, lichen pigmentosus are some conditions which show good response to chemical peeling.
Under eye peel
Mandelic and arginine are milder peels suited for the under eye area. Since the skin in this area is thin and sensitive, only very mils peels can be used safely. Repeated application reduces pigmentation in the under eye area as well as improve skin tone and texture.
Resurfacing peels such as retinoid based work on skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles. It stimulates neocollagen formation, making the skin firmer and smoother. These peels are popular for skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing.
These are instant glow peels that are popular as pre party treatments. They remove the tan and work to give instant glow and radiance on the skin.
Chemical peeling is a generally safe procedure with minimum adverse effects. Some patients can experience visible peeling of the skin 5-7 days after the peeling session. Mild redness and tingling sensation can also occur post the procedure. These are mild events which subside in a day or two with proper post peel care. If any other discomfort is noted by the patient, it should be brought to the notice of the doctor immediately.
Post peel care
Strict sun protection is advised as a post peel care. Physical methods of sun protection such as hats and scarfs are essential to use, when stepping out in the sun.
Regular use of broad spectrum sunscreen with minimum SPF of 30 should be applied every 3-4 hrly. This is essential to protect the skin from any UV damage.
Liberal use of moisturizer is essential to keep skin hydrated. Some patients may experience dryness of skin post peeling sessions.
Use of mild cleanser. Harsh cleansers which irritate or dry the skin should be avoided.
Avoid use of heat and steam on the face. Any sort of heat treatment can aggravate adverse skin reactions and thus should be avoided.
Choosing right candidate for peeling
Before undergoing a chemical peel session, it is important that you undergo a thorough medical consultation. Current and past medical history, as well as medications currently being undertaken are reviewed by our expert. It is important to discuss your skin concerns and analyse your skin in detail to arrive at the right choice of peel for you.
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