Most of us have been taught from a young age that we should avoid getting sunburned. The redness dries out the skin and, if bad enough, a sunburn could cause blistering and peeling. These are telltale indicators that the skin has been badly damaged. Peeling from a sunburn means that, somewhere down the line, there will be an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
So how can we say peeling can be a good thing? It’s because a good chemical peel is known for its capacity to help the skin regenerate from a healthy new foundation.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peel treatment is nothing new. Dermatologists and medical spas have offered these types of customized treatments for many years. The purpose of a chemical peel is to speed up the process of cellular turnover in the various layers of the skin. A percentage of skin cells naturally ages and dies off over time. These cells should slough off with washing and regular exfoliation, but they don’t always do that. Often, damaged, dead cells with no vibrancy cling to the epidermis, causing a dull complexion, rough texture, and other concerns.
Chemical peels help the skin to release dead and damaged cells that show signs of aging as well as sun damage. With routine care, adults who have issues with photodamage such as dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles can revitalize their skin to look brighter and more even.
Types of Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are not a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment. Each client who visits our medical spa in Sterling, VA gets a thorough consultation and skin assessment by a trained professional. This allows us to build treatment around the skin’s needs as well as each person’s preference for downtime and results. Generally, peels are classified as light, medium, or deep.
- Light chemical peels often have lactic acid or another very mild acid. These treatments may cause mild and temporary redness but no other side effects. Even the cellular turnover is mild enough that only minor flaking may be noticed. A light peel can be done as often as every month.
- Medium chemical peels are popular these days because they don’t require much downtime to get amazing results. The medium peel affects slightly deeper layers of the skin, stimulating more pronounced collagen production and cellular turnover. The skin may be red for a few days and may flake or peel after 3 or 4 days. The results of a medium peel include a decrease in dark spots and scars and more uniform skin texture.
- Deep chemical peels are not as common because, while they reach the deepest layers of the skin, they can cause redness and blistering. The skin must be cared for in specific ways after a deep peel to prevent infection and poor healing. Because the deep peel achieves the most dramatic correction of sun damage, results can last years without another deep peel.