Off with the old, in with the new

One way to address the skin which is under various visible strains is to treat it with a chemical peel, suggests Dr Bharti Magoo

health

Our skin deals with pollution, dirt, harmful UV rays and various other stress-related issues, making it look dull. This can severely affect a person’s confidence. Instead of relying on uncertain cosmetic products to cover skin defects, it is essential to get professional help. One way to address the skin which is under various visible strains is to treat it with a chemical peel.

A chemical peel is a non-invasive, controlled form of stripping off or scaling off different layers of skin.

It is commonly used for treatment of fine wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, stretch marks, acne scars, uneven skin, inflammatory acne, reduction of open pores, photo-damaged skin, skin tightening, under-eye treatment, and in various other skin conditions.

The treatment is effective and regenerates healthy, youthful and glowing skin. Types of chemical peels depend upon the depth of skin:

Superficial or nano peel: It includes partial peeling of epidermis at stratum corneum (outermost layer of skin) level.

Medium depth: Total epidermal destruction and sometimes partial destruction of dermis (living tissue beneath epidermis).

Deep peel: Peeling up till the mid-reticular layer of dermis.

Depending on their usefulness, various chemicals are used alone or in combination. Glycolic acid is used in superficial peel for treating fine lines, dry mature skin and inducing glow. Mandelic acid, which acts as an anti-bacterial, is used for acne, scars, de-pigmentation, and sebum control. Pyruvic acid is used to address sensitive dark skin and medium depth wrinkles. Phenol, TCA (Trichloroacetic acid), Salicylic acid, Retinol, Phyticacid, Ferulic acid, kojic acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, resorcinol, caffeic acid, among others are some chemicals used in different strengths and in combinations for chemical peels. After careful examination of the patient’s skin-type, depending upon the Fitzpatrick chart, individual chemical peels are decided keeping in mind parameters such as suitable combination formulation, pH, contact time with skin and how many layers of peel need to be applied.

Precautions

Some peels can cause visible flaking of the skin. It is advisable not to manually remove the flaking, allowing it to fall off on its own. Avoid direct exposure to sun, sauna, swimming and too much heat for at least 48 hours post procedure.

(The author is anti-ageing physician)

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