Monday, November 5, 2007

Chemical Peels

It might not have the most pleasant sounding name in the world, but a facial chemical peel is a safe, commonly used method of treating acne, age spots, brown spots, large pores, fine wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. The traditional chemical face peel procedure involves the application of a chemical solution designed to smooth and exfoliate skin while removing its damaged outer layer. The formula for this solution changes depending on your skin, but usually involves a combination of different types of trichloroacetic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and sometimes phenol.

Many of the compounds used in chemical peels are found in nature, such as Glycolic acid (of the alpha-hyrdroxy family), which is derived from certain fruits and plants. It assists in the skin treatment by stimulating new collagen and skin growth while allowing dead skin cells to fall off naturally. Salicylic acid, a simple organic fruit compound, is an effective acne scar chemical peel and also works for oily and acne prone skin, by increasing cell turnover. Mandelic acid, meanwhile, is an extract from bitter almonds, and is often used in a chemical peel for uneven skin tones and or patients with pigmentation problems.

Most chemical peels take only 10-15 minutes to perform, and the majority of patients report only a mild stinging from the chemical solution. With less the invasive chemical peels mentioned above, the recovery time is quick, with most redness and dryness subsiding within a week's time. There are chemical peels that require much more downtime because of the blistering that occurs after treatment.

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