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Common Skin Problems That Respond Well to Chemical Peels

Common Skin Problems That Respond Well to Chemical Peels

At every age and stage of your life, your skin goes through changes, responding to the environment, hormones, diet, and genetics. As you get older, the effects of these changes accumulate, and this is made worse by your skin’s inability to regenerate itself as effectively as in your younger years.  This can leave your skin dull, spotted, blotchy, rough, and wrinkled. And this is especially noticeable on your face.

The good news is that you can improve many of those problems by giving your face a helping hand with a chemical peel. Using a variety of acids, including alpha-hydroxy, salicylic, lactic, phytic, retinoic, carbolic, trichloroacetic, and glycolic, chemical peels slough off the top layers of skin, revealing the newer, blemish-free layers underneath.

Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn and his team at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, offer chemical peel treatments that range in intensity from superficial to deep. Here are the most common skin problems a chemical peel can tackle.

Wrinkles

Whether you’re just starting to notice a few fine lines on your face or you’ve been living with increasingly wrinkled skin for years, chemical peels can be used to target the layer or layers of skin where they reside and help lift them off. 

As an added benefit, chemical peels cause a controlled wound, which triggers your skin to amp up its production of new collagen as part of the healing process. Collagen is one of the essential proteins that gives your skin its strength, structure, and resilience.

Acne

Acne occurs when your pores get clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. Chemical peels work to remove all of that, so your pores can breathe and your follicles can remain open, preventing new pimples. 

Minor scarring

A little scratch, a cut from shaving, and even acne can scar your face. Although a chemical peel may not remove your scar completely, by stripping off the top surface layers and also building up volume beneath - thanks to new collagen production - it can help improve the appearance of some of these scars.

Sun damage

Every time the sunlight hits your skin, it causes damage. Even short stints outdoors can harm unprotected skin and this damage builds up over the years. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun penetrate the skin’s layers and slowly affect the cells below, causing dark spots, wrinkles, and rough, dry texture, to name a few.  Thankfully however, chemical peels can help address these problems by lifting away the damaged layers and allowing you to start over with fresh, new skin.

Pigmentation problems

To defend itself against sun damage, your skin produces melanin, which is the pigment change you see when you tan. The more sun exposure you get over your lifetime, small areas of these pigment-producing cells can become overactive forming what we commonly call ‘sun spots’ or ‘age spots’, in addition to other types of pigment issues.   

But pigmentation problems can happen for numerous other reasons as well, including hormonal changes during pregnancy, due to birth control pills, or menopause.  Other common causes include skin damage from bad acne lesions, especially picking and popping pimples, or other skin conditions when the skin becomes angry and inflamed.  Thankfully, a chemical peel can help diminish these blemishes and begin to restore your skin’s naturally even tone.

How to choose a chemical peel

The type of chemical peel that’s right for you depends on several variables, including the problems you’re trying to resolve, the condition of your skin, your skin type, and how deep the skin problems actually are.

Dr. Mittelbronn starts by analyzing your skin and talking with you about your goals for improvement. If you concerns require only a light chemical peel, the treatment is generally quick and with little discomfort. Most experience only a slightly sunburned feeling afterwards and have mild redness and peeling over the next few days. 

The deeper the peel becomes, the longer the medication remains active and the more recovery time may be necessary.   It just depends on what your treatment goals are and how strong the medication used needs to be to help you achieve such. To help you adjust to the feeling and recovery, it is generally advised to gradually increase strength of each successive peel.  When necessary anesthesia can be used.  

Plan to spend some downtime after a chemical peel, with the amount of time needed depending on the depth of the peel.  The most gentle superficial peels require little downtime, sometimes allowing you to return to your life the same or the following day. Deeper peels, however, usually require longer downtime before you can be back in action, ranging from a couple of days to several days or more.  Allowing the appropriate time to heal is essential to achieve the proper results and help avoid any problems that can occur after any chemical peel. Most importantly is the need to avoid sun exposure, as sun exposure opens you up to pigmenting abnormally, making the peel possibly more problematic than helpful.

To find out if a chemical peel can address your unique skin problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn and his team at Lakeview Dermatology today. 

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