Monday, August 9, 2010

Chemical Peel, Part 2

In the previous post, I explained what chemical peels are, the types of chemical peel and how chemical peels are applied. Here are a few more aspects to consider;

Which One Is Right For Me?

Chemical peels can remove just a few or many layers of skin. The key factors to consider in determining which chemical peel is correct for you include; the amount of skin problem/aging/sun damage, the skin colour or type, the amount of skin rejuvenation you would like to accomplish, and the amount of recovery time that is acceptable to you.

As a general rule, the deeper the peel, the more side effects and potential complications will be encountered. Usually the recovery period will also be longer. Also, the darker the skin type, the greater the number of problems may be encountered after the procedure. This applies especially to pigmentation problems such as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This occurs when the treated skin becomes darker than the untreated skin. Therefore, care should be taken when applying deeper peels in darker skin types. Consideration should be given towards performing several more shallow peels rather than one deep peel.

The extent of skin aging will also determine which peel to use. For patients with less skin damage, pigmentation and wrinkles, only superficial peels will be required. The opposite also holds true.

Different skin ailments respond differently to particular chemical peels. As an example, acne responds well to Jessner's peel and salicylic (beta hydroxy acid) peels. These chemical peels are very oil soluble, are able to penetrate deeper into pores to remove oil and sebum, and are anti-inflammatory. Both alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid help exfoliate the skin. TCA peels, alpha hydroxy acid peels and Jessner's peels are best suited to pigmentation issues and sun damage.

Wrinkles can be best treated using any medium to deep chemical peel, such as TCA peels. These peels can be a cost effective alternative to laser skin treatment.

How To Prepare For A Chemical Peel

Skin preparation can be done by applying skin care products containing retinoic acid such as Retin-A/Stieve-A, which are available by prescription only. Topical lightening agents, which are creams or serums used to help lighten skin and skin pigmentation problems, can also be used. These include hydroquinone, kojic acid or arbutin. This should be started at least two weeks before peeling to help with even penetration of the chemical peel, decreasing the healing period and to reduce complications like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Use of alpha hydroxy acid cleansers/exfoliants in the two weeks prior to chemical peeling can also help the peeling agent. These, however, do not reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Medical Issues That Your Doctor Should Know About Before A Chemical Peel

Patients with cold sores (herpes simplex virus) should advise their doctor before chemical peeling. If the cold sore is active, they may need to wait until it has passed before having a chemical peel. Or if the person has a history of cold sores, the doctor may recommend a course of anti-viral medication as a prophylaxis to any re-occurence during the treatment.

A presence of keloid (thick, pigmented scarring) may exclude a person from all but the most superficial of chemical peels.

Patients with HIV/AIDS or immunosuppression should stay away from chemical peels as it may increase the possibility of infection and scarring.

Also those who have recently had a course of isotretinoin (or Roaccutane) for the treatment of acne should avoid chemical peels for six months before undertaking medium or deep chemical peels. Likewise, people who have recently had a facelift should not undergo chemical peels for at least six months.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chemical Peel, Part 1

What Is A Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is an anti aging treatment used to improve skin using a chemical solution. The solution brings on a controlled injury to the skin that causes the dead skin to peel off. By removing the top layers of skin, collagen production is induced thereby improving sun damaged skin and skin pigmentation problems, reducing wrinkles, and improves skin texture and overall appearance of the skin. The younger looking skin has fewer wrinkles than the old skin.

Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and applied without a medical license; however people are advised to seek professional advice on a specific type of chemical peel beforehand. The strength of the chemical solution will determine the depth of the peel. Deeper peels may have a greater number of complications and require a longer recovery period, but will also result in a greater improvement to the skin.

Chemical peels can be applied to several different parts of the body other than the face. For example, the procedure can be done on the chest and back for acne, or on the neck or decolletage to treat sun damage.

Types Of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels fall into several categories. Each type is suited to treat different skin ailments. Chemical peels also vary in solution strength and are classified as either 'superficial', 'medium' or 'deep', according to the level of skin to be treated.

Supercial chemical peels include;
  • Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels - these contain glycolic and lactic acid.
  • Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels - salicylic acid is the main ingredient in these peels.
  • Retinoic acid peels - retinoic acid is the ingredient found in Retin-A and Stieva-A (tretinoin) skin care products, but in much less concentrations than the retinoic peels.
  • Jessner's Peel - contains a combination of salicylic acid, resorcinol and lactic acid.
  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel - typically contains 10 - 20% TCA.
  • Deep sea peel - this is a natural organic, herb/plant-based peel.
Medium depth chemical peels include;
  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel - typically containing 35% TCA.
Deep chemical peels include;
  • Baker-Gordon phenol peel.

Applying A Chemical Peel

It is recommended that the application of a chemical peel be performed by an experienced doctor or nurse.

The skin should be thoroughly cleansed. For facial peels, vaseline can be used to prevent the peel from entering the eyes. Your eyes should be closed during the procedure. As your skin is likely to get hot during the procedure, keep a fan handy to cool the area.

The chemical peel solution is applied to the skin for a set time before neutralizing the solution. However, if there is any unexpected skin reaction before the end of the allotted time, or if the pain is excessive, neutralization can be done early. Sodium bicarbonate is used for the neutralization stage.

At the end of the procedure, the peel is completed by placing sunscreen and a soothing balm on the skin.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anti Aging Using A Dermal Roller

It's safe to use anywhere on the body, on all skin types and all skin colors. The results and healing are quick, and there's no requirement for time off work. It can treat sensitive skin that other procedures must avoid, such as under eye wrinkles, the neck and the back of the hands. And dramatic results can be seen within one week.

What is it?

It's known as "skin needling", where surgical stainless steel needles are gently rolled over the skin puncturing the dermis. This induces the release of growth factors that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.

The procedure is a relatively new practice in cosmetic medicine. The skin micro needling is the modern equivalent to traditional Chinese acupuncture and is designed for home or clinic use. It is very cost effective as the skin or derma roller can be used dozens of times.

The roller tool goes by such names as derma roller, Dermal Roller, Dr Roller, Skin Roller and Skin Needling Roller.

Dermal rolling has been an area of discussion and rigorous research in Europe and the USA. The technique has proven beneficial in enhancing anti aging of the skin. Some of the main benefits include;
  • wrinkle reduction - induces collagen, increasing production by up to 10 times in a single treatment.
  • absorption of anti wrinkle products - it increases the absorption of anti wrinkle products by up to 10,000 times in a single use. This is called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT).
Unlike other methods such as acids or laser, it does not damage or peel the epidermis. It works beneath the surface to stimulate collagen growth, thus tightening and producing younger looking skin.

Dermal rolling can be used for treatment and reduction of sagging skin, loss of hair, reduction of stretch marks, acne scarring and the management of cellulite. When used for hyperpigmentation, these spots will often return to normal within a few treatments.

There are several different needle length available, depending on the specific results you may want;

0.2 mm - These are good for increasing microcirculation and helping with the absorption of skin products. The needles are not long enough, however, to induce collagen production.

0.5 mm - This needle size is highly recommended and is the best all round roller. It also helps absorption of skin products and is the smallest of the roller that induce collagen production. This is recommended for the face.

1.0 mm - This is the most useful for restoring hair loss. The longer needles are necessary to pass through the hair in the area. These needles are not recommended for the face.

1.5 mm - This is recommended only for scars, and on stretch marks and cellulite. Be sure to take care as the needles can cause localized pain.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Laser Eye Wrinkle Reduction

Here's a bit more on laser wrinkle removal. Specifically, laser skin treatment can be used effectively for lines around eyes and dark circles under the eyes.

Lines Around The Eyes

The "crow's feet" around the eyes are wrinkles caused by muscle contractions during facial expressions such as squinting or frowning, as well as slack, poor quality skin around the eyes. The excessive muscle tone can be smoothed out by Botox. However, if there is too much excess skin, Botox treatment is not the best solution. Laser skin treatment, by way of microscopic accurate incisions of the skin under the eyes, is the better option in this instance to tighten and rejuvenate the skin.

Not only will it provide laser skin tightening, it is likely to act like a mini upper eye lift.

Usually only one laser skin rejuvenation treatment is needed and the recovery period is short. There will be some swelling the next day however this will be gone within a week.

Dark Circles Under The Eyes

Dark circles under the eyes may be racial in origin, and is a common complaint particularly from people with olive or dark skin. Dark circles may also be associated with drug use or insufficient sleep.

The cause of dark circles is due to either pigmentation or amassed bluish blood vessels. Creams and lotions cannot remove dark circles alone. Surgical laser treatment remains the most effective solution. Laser skin treatment is used to remove the pigmentation and blood vessels, followed by the use of anti-pigmentation cream. It is a delicate operation requiring microscopic surgery and a lot of care. However, this laser skin rejuvenation procedure is a proven successful anti aging treatment.

The procedure should take less than 2 hours and some swelling can be expected. Pigmentation may initially get darker and will then flake off. Recovery usually takes 3 to 7 days.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eye Wrinkle Reduction

One of the first signs of aging are "crows feet" that occur around the eyes. The area around the eyes has very thin skin and needs proper care. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients that are used in face and body creams are designed to go deep into the skin. These are not desirable for under eye wrinkles as the eyes may become irritated. Therefore, it is better to use a dedicated eye serum or gel so you can maximise benefits without any risk to your eyes.

I would recommend that you use natural anti wrinkle products, and use them every morning and night for optimum reduction of under eye wrinkles. The serum or gel should be free of chemicals, fragrances and mineral oils and contain lots of active and proven anti aging products. There are many natural ingredients that have been shown to be beneficial to wrinkle reduction around the eyes. Check out products and ingredients like Eyeliss, Haloxyl, Homeo Age, Cynergy TK, Nanobelle Coenzyme Q10, Babassu, Crodomol CAP, Phytessence Wakame, Retin A plus natural vitamin E and active manuka honey.

But don't just rely on anti wrinkle products to reduce under eye wrinkles. Maintain healthy lifestyle habits and your skin will benefit long term. Here are some tips to help with wrinkle reduction around the eyes:
  • Wear sunglasses when outside in the sun. This will help protect the area around the eyes and stop you squinting.
  • Put on sunscreen before you go out in the sun, paying special attention not to miss the skin around the eyes.
  • Cleansers and toners can make your skin dry, so don't forget to moisturize afterwards.
  • Get lots of anti oxidants in your diet.
  • Drinks lots of water.
  • Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress and over-eating.
  • Get enough sleep and take time out to smell the roses.
I like that last point.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Laser Wrinkle Removal

As a part of the multibillion dollar skin care industry, technology is advancing to assist in the combat against the signs of aging.

One such area of technology is laser skin treatment, or laser resurfacing. Lasers are being used to remove wrinkles, lines and unsightly scars from people's skin. Laser wrinkle removal rejuvenates by removal of the old skin, stimulation of collagen regeneration to support the skin, thus minimising wrinkles and by tightening of old loose skin.

Originally, laser resurfacing worked by using the high-intensity light pulses to remove the entire layer of the top skin. Unfortunately, recover time for this procedure was long, frequently painful and sometimes required the treated area to be bandaged. Swelling and redness could remain for weeks.

The latest laser technology, however, reduces the recovery time by half. And the end result is arguably the same, if not better. Laser resurfacing can treat acne scars, chicken pox scars, surgical scars, pigmentation, freckles, birthmarks, reduction of fine wrinkles, damaged capillaries and refinement of pores.

This latest laser skin treatment technique works by making thousands of tiny holes, each smaller than the thickness of a hair. In so doing, the skin heals in 1 to 2 days, rather than weeks. There will still be swelling and redness, just like the early procedure. However, patients can wear covering make-up as soon as peeling is completed in 3 to 7 days. While this is a much shorter recovery period than before, the length of time is related to the skin ailment that is being treated. For example, a straight forward skin rejuvenation procedure may take only 3 to 4 days to recover, while laser skin treatment of acne scars may take 5 to 7 days.

The revitalized skin will continue to improve for 6 to 12 months.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Skin Care Tips For Men

Yeah! Men have skin, too. So why shouldn't they get a few tips...

Compared to ten years ago, I'd have to say that men are becoming more aware of their skin and the need to look after it. Shaving is tough on the face, so a bit of care can go a long way towards skin rejuvenation. And with the campaigns making people aware of the damage that can be done to skin by over-exposure to the sun's UV rays, the idea of applying a sunblock and moisturizer no longer makes macho males go into a state of panic.

For many men, however, skin care is still little more than an afterthought. Skin care is important since our skin is our defense against the outside world. And no-one wants to develop wrinkles before their time.

For those men who are open to suggestions, here are a few simple, inexpensive tips to retaining that younger looking skin.


Before shaving, make sure you wet your face with warm water before applying shaving cream. This will allow the razor to glide better across your skin. Take your time while shaving, to reduce the chances of nicking your skin. Rinse with cold water, not hot. And applying after-shave cream or a facial moisturizer is a good idea.

If you use an electric razor, apply lotion before shaving. This will get your whiskers to stand up and allows the shaver to glider over the skin more easily. It will also decrease irritation that can come with electric shaving.

Protection From The Elements

The wind and sun can dry and damage your skin. As part of your morning routine, apply a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. This should be used on all exposed skin such as arms, the backs of your hands as well as your face and neck. This is important if you intend to be outside for an extended period of time. A cream with a minimum SPF factor of 15 should be used. After being in the sun for a long time, use a moisurizer that contains vitamin E.

Diet And Exercise

A balanced diet and staying active are essential. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, as these will provide you with anti-oxidants that can slow down skin damage. Although natural is best, alternatively, you may consider taking multi vitamins that contain anti-oxidants and vitamin E. Limit your intake of greasy, fried food.

Exercise will help clear your pores and increase your metabolism.

Drink Enough Water

Make sure that you drink lots of water each day. Our body's cells have a high water content, so it makes sense to keep yourself hydrated. Limit your consumption of coffee, tea and alcohol as these tend to dehydrate you.

Men should realize that proper skin care need not take a lot of time. A few minutes a day is all that is required. With just a bit of extra attention, your skin will look healthier and younger.