Chemical Peels: Helpful or Harmful?
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Anxious about getting a chemical peel? Read this article to soothe your fears.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects your insides, keeps germs outs, helps regulate your body's temperature, and through the countless number of nerves weaved through it, helps you feel and experience the world around you. With all the things your skin does for you, shouldn't you repay it? Thanks to the harsh environments we live in, your skin can become rough, discolored, and damaged. To help address such issues, many have been turning to chemical peels. If you have never had this type of treatment, read one to learn more.
Types of Peels
There are many types of chemical peels. Which one is right for you? That all depends on what benefits you are looking for:
SUPERFICIAL: Also known as a lunchtime peel, this treatment uses a mild acid such as alpha-hydroxy to penetrate the outer layer of the skin, gently exfoliating to improve the appearance of slight discoloration and rough patches. It leaves the skin in the treated area, most commonly the face, neck, and hands, bright and refreshed.
MEDIUM: With the use of glycolic or trichloroacetic acid, a solution is applied to the skin to remove the damaged cells from both the outer and middle layers of the skin. This helps improve the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, freckles, and moderate skin discoloration. It is also beneficial for those with rough skin and precancerous skin growths.
DEEP: This type of chemical peel profoundly penetrates the skin through the use of trichloroacetic acid or phenol. It can result in a vast improvement of the skin's appearance as it removes damaged cells, moderate lines, freckles, superficial scars, and age spots. As the acids used for this treatment are so strong, it can only be used on the face and only one time.
What to Expect After the Treatment
Chemical peels do not cause the recipient a lot of pain, although some may experience discomfort or sting depending on the type of acid used. After the service is complete, you may experience some of the following: irritation, redness, or peeling. These side-effects often decrease as the skin grows accustomed to the treatments.
For superficial peels, the healing time is typically 3-5 days. Moisturizer and SPF 30 should be applied daily to the skin. Makeup should be abstained from for the first 24 hours. You can expect to see little to no visible peeling afterward, although you may experience flaking two or three days later. Because of the mild acid used, there is no downtime with this type of peel.
With medium peels, you can expect to experience side-effects for 7 to 14 days. It is essential to follow the aftercare instructions of your esthetician, including the daily soaking. While a hydrating moisturizer may be applied, makeup must not be used for the first 5 to 7 days, and sun exposure should be avoided. Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the healing process. A series of appointments is recommended for maximum results.
As the most potent type of peel, deep treatments take the longest to heal, up to two weeks, depending on the client. After this is finished, you will next have to apply a thick moisturizer each day for the next 14 days. It is essential to use sunscreen daily to protect the healing skin. Because of the seriousness of the treatment and its aftereffects, you will have to go to several follow-up appointments.
Things to Keep in Mind
Each type of chemical peel has its advantages and disadvantages, but there is some advice that's beneficial no matter which one you choose. After a peel, you should wait a week to ten days before exercising or getting into a sauna, hot tub, or whirlpool to ensure the peeling process is finished. These activities can cause perspiration, which will make your skin dry and flaky, reducing the benefits you'll see from the treatment. While lactic and glycolic peels may result in little to no flaking, you'll see some with TCA and salicylic ones. When it comes to skin peeling, it differs from person to person. Just keep in mind it is all part of the process and is temporary.
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