What does peeling involve?
Your practitioner will consult with you, discuss your goals, take a thorough medical history and photograph your skin using our computerized photographic system. We will use photography throughout the course of your treatments to monitor your progress. In order to maximize results, your practitioner may also recommend that you condition your skin in preparation for your course of light peels. She will prepare a home skin care programme for you that incorporates products targeted to your needs.
The peel itself – After thorough cleansing, the appropriate solution will be applied to your skin. Some peels create a warm tingling or stinging sensation. No pain relief, other than a cool fan, is needed.
The entire process takes less than an hour. You may or may not experience light flaking or slight irritation for a few days, but can usually expect to return to daily activities almost immediately. Your practitioner will give you guidelines to follow to help ensure the success of your treatment. Generally, you will be instructed to use a gentle cleanser and a bland moisturizing lotion for the first few days. It is important that you avoid exposing the treated skin to the sun. Though improvement in skin quality and texture may be apparent after your first treatment, results accrue over the course of your treatments.
Are you a candidate for skin peeling?
Skin peels are ideal for those with superficial blemishes or signs of aging who want to improve their skin quality gently and gradually without the downtime associated with stronger treatments. Because these peels exfoliate the skin and unclog pores they are highly effective for improving acne.
Preparing for your peel
Your practitioner will recommend a skin care programme to augment your results, containing additional AHAs, BHAs, high strength antioxidant vitamins and possibly a skin lightening agent.
How do I look after my skin peel?
Are there any contraindications for skin peeling?
Peeling cannot be performed if you have active cold sores, open wounds, active eczema, dermatitis or rosacea in the areas to be treated. You may not be suitable for peeling if you have taken Roaccutane in the last 6-12 months, have had cancer or radiation therapy in the area to be treated, are sunburnt, have waxed the area in the previous week or have had IPL, laser or injectable treatments within the previous 2 weeks. Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or black skin may not be suitable for some peels.
Are peels safe?
Skin peels are specifically intended to be “light”, gentle and safe. However, the possibility of side effects occurring whenever the skin is penetrated cannot be entirely eliminated. You should be prepared for some degree of mild irritation, redness and peeling for a few days after each treatment. You will generally be able to return to work or everyday activities almost immediately or within days of your treatment.
All skin treatments carry some risk of discomfort, bruising, redness, swelling, itching, grazing, infection, pigment changes, flaking, scarring or activation of pre-existing cold sore infections. As a rule, the deeper the peel, the longer your recovery. Following pre- and post-procedure instructions will minimize the potential for adverse side effects.
How many light skin peels will I need to get the results I want?
Just as the formulation of the peel solution is customized for each patient, so too the number and spacing of the treatments varies according to individual needs. As a rough guide, 4-6 light peels spaced at 2-4 weekly intervals usually deliver impressive results.
Skin Peels vs. Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion and skin peeling treatments deliver similar results, but by different processes. Both treatments aim to exfoliate the uppermost layers of the skin and both achieve cumulative results over a course of treatments.
Despite these similarities, there are significant differences in the actual procedure, recovery time, and post-procedure effects of microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical abrasive procedure that improves imperfections by physically “sanding” flaws from the skin surface. It uses diamond brushes and suction to “buff and polish” your skin.
Skin peeling on the other hand is a chemical process that takes place on the surface and at various depths below the surface, depending upon the peel solution used.
Microdermabrasion is relatively comfortable and relaxing. Some light peels will sting your face slightly for several minutes or until a neutralizer is applied. Cool fanning is needed to maximise your comfort during some peels.
Because the top layers of skin are buffed off during a microdermabrasion there is usually no downtime following these treatments. Some peels however may involve redness, flaking or peeling for a few days to a week following your treatment. Social and work commitments may need to be scheduled to around these days.
Microdermabrasions are not recommended for skin that is prone to broken capillaries or couprose. Such skin types do best with gentle peels.
Some peels penetrate more deeply than is possible with microdermabrasion, and for some patients may therefore be more beneficial.
Because peeling and microdermabrasion work in different ways, we often recommend that our patients maximise their results by including both treatments as part of their skin rejuvenation programme.