Peels & Dermabrasion
Another way to resurface the skin is to apply a chemical solution that causes the outer layers of skin to peel away. This is what cosmetic surgeons call a chemical peel. Chemical peels are usually performed in a cosmetic surgeon’s office, either by the cosmetic surgeon or a specially trained aesthetician or nurse. During treatment, a solution is brushed or swabbed onto your skin, where it will be left for a certain period of time. Over the days following treatment, the affected layers of skin will gradually peel away, revealing a smoother, younger-looking complexion.
What improvements can a chemical peel make?
- Reduce or remove age spots, blotchiness, or discoloration
- Smooth fine lines & wrinkles on the skin’s surface
- Minimize or remove acne scars or milder scars from injury or surgery
- Tighten & tone the skin and brighten the complexion
- Remove keratoses or precancerous growths
Light vs. Deep Chemical Peels
Depending on the treatment, a peel will often be classified as light, medium, or deep. This refers to how many layers of skin are removed. Light chemical peels will typically reach partially through the epidermis (the outermost layers of skin) and use a milder acid solution such as glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), salicylic acid, fruit enzymes, or a low concentration of trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Light peels can be safely applied by a trained, experienced aesthetician under the supervision of a cosmetic surgeon, and typically involve little to no downtime.
Deeper peels will reach further into the epidermis or even into the next layer, the dermis, and are recommended to address more advanced signs of aging, such as deeper wrinkles and extensive sun damage, or severe acne scars. Examples include phenol peels, stronger TCA peels, and croton oils. While medium to deep peels can produce more dramatic improvements, they are more involved treatments. Anesthesia may be needed to keep a patient comfortable during treatment, and several days of downtime are required to allow the skin to heal optimally.
During your one on one consultation in Joplin, MO or Pittsburg, KS, Dr. Maningas will recommend a peel based on your skin type, the specific issues you want to address, and how deep the peel needs to work to achieve the desired results. After the initial healing period following a chemical peel, some improvements will be immediately noticeable: brighter, tighter-feeling skin and a more even skin tone. However, the effects of a peel are cumulative, and many patients find repeating treatment periodically is needed for optimal results.
Microdermabrasion & Dermabrasion
A third class of skin resurfacing treatments are those that involve mechanical exfoliation, where an instrument is used to slough off outer layers of skin to remove visible skin damage and reveal smoother, healthier and younger looking skin. Such treatments include microdermabrasion and dermabrasion. While they have similar sounding names, each of these treatments works quite differently.
Microdermabrasion is a relatively gentle procedure that can be used on the face, neck, hands or body. During treatment, the area is exfoliated by using a very fine tipped instrument or by applying a fine mist of abrasive particles. The exfoliated skin is then immediately vacuumed away. Unlike some other resurfacing treatments, microdermabrasion is safe for all skin types, carries very little risk for side effects, and requires no downtime.
What can microdermabrasion help improve?
- Minimize fine lines & wrinkles, such as crow’s feet
- Help skincare products work more effectively
- Brighten skin & improve tone
- Reduce age spots or mild acne scars
Microdermabrasion can be performed in the same sessions as a peel or facial to enhance the results. While immediate improvements are usually noticeable, microdermabrasion treatments are often performed in a series to achieve optimal improvements. It is also essential to protect the treated area from the sun, as skin will be more sensitive to sun damage after microdermabrasion.
Dermabrasion is a more powerful mechanical resurfacing technique than microdermabrasion. During treatment, a cosmetic surgeon will use a rapidly rotating instrument or blade to precisely remove skin from the treated area layer by layer until the desired depth. Because it reaches more deeply into the skin’s surface, dermabrasion can affect skin pigmentation, and thus is not recommended for every skin type. Typically, patients will receive a topical anesthetic or local anesthesia to ensure comfort during and after the procedure.
What can dermabrasion help improve?
- Minimize vertical lip lines, smile lines, or other facial wrinkles
- Remove acne scars and other blemishes
- Smooth the skin and balance complexion
The purpose of dermabrasion is to remove enough layers of skin to remove the visible concerns and encourage new cell growth. Therefore, the area will be tender and “raw” after treatment. It is essential to keep the area well protected from the sun and follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions for keeping the skin free from infection.