Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chemical peels and acne

About Chemical Peels
A chemical peel, also known as chemexfoliation or derma-peeling, is a popular and effective non-surgical treatment for both active acne and acne scarring.
In a chemical peel, a chemical mixture is applied to the skin which removes the damaged outer layers to reveal the clearer, smoother, tighter, and more radiant skin underneath.

Types of Chemical Peels
There are three types of chemical peels: light peels (also called superficial peels), medium peels, and deep peels, which penetrate the skin to different levels.
There are inexpensive over-the-counter chemical peel products available that can be used at home to provide a very light peel. Some salons, spas, and skin care clinics can provide a professional light or medium peel. A deep chemical peel should be done only in a doctor's office or hospital, although some states do allow non-physicians to perform this procedure.
A light or medium peel is often sufficient for smoothing skin that has been damaged by acne.
For best results, especially in severe acne cases, find a licensed physician who has training and experience in skin resurfacing.

Over-the-counter chemical peels vary in price, but some can be obtained for under $30.
Professional peels vary in cost based on the type and depth of the peel. Costs vary from under $100 for a light peel to thousands of dollars for a deep peel performed by a physician.

What to Expect
A chemical peel is not painful, but you may experience tingling or a mild stinging sensation during the treatment. The procedure typically takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on your skin's specific needs. Some patients will require a series of peels to achieve the optimal results.
After the peel, your may notice some redness to your skin for a few days. You may also experience some dryness or flaking, which can be treated with a moisturizer. Do not rub or scratch the skin until it heals completely, or scarring may result. You should notice some healing after the first three to six days. The healing process is typically not painful.
Makeup should not be worn immediately after a facial peel, except on the eyes and lips. Ask your practitioner about what products should (and should not) be used on your skin immediately after the peel, and how long you should wait before resuming use of your regular cosmetics and skin products.

Avoid heavy sunlight and tanning beds for at least two weeks after the peel.
Your practitioner should provide you with a comprehensive set of guidelines for caring for your skin after a peel. If you are using an over-the-counter product for a light peel, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions very carefully.

Risks and Side Effects
A chemical peel is a very safe procedure, and complications are quite rare.
In some cases, a chemical peel can cause temporary or permanent discoloration of the skin, especially in women who are pregnant, women who take birth control pills, or people with a family history of abnormal pigmentation.
The procedure can also trigger cold sores or fever blisters in people who are susceptible to these kinds of sores.
You should not have a chemical peel if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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