Chemical peeling is a procedure which is very versatile and is used to treat a variety of skin problems.
Improving the general skin appearance for a fresher look
Removing acquired pigmentation – from sunspots to deeper pigment such as melasma and chloasma (mask of pregnancy)
Improving acne scars, and treating mild to moderate acne
Improving fine lines and skin creases
A chemical peel’s strength can be varied according to one’s needs and can also be combined with other treatments. Repetition is required for maximum effect and frequency depends on the severity of the problem. The name of such a treatment may be misleading, as not all chemical peel treatments actually peel the skin. It all depends on the type of peel used. Some slight redness is expected for the first few hours and also the feeling of skin tightness shortly afterwards.
A personalised home care regime would boost the effectiveness of the treatment and sun protection cream is imperative during the treatment period. The ideal timings for such treatments are between October and End of April due to a lower UV Index.
IPL for Acne
IPL is a filtered light of a specific waveform (colour) that is selectively absorbed by the inflamed acne areas. The main contributors of acne are the excess oil produced in the sebaceous glands of the skin, and a particular skin microbe called propionibacterium acnes which invades the glands and turns the oil into pus. IPL creates heat in the acne lesions to control the microbes and oil production in the sebaceous glands. For treating more severe acne, this effect can be magnified many times over by using a specific photosensitising agent called ALA (amino laevulinic acid) applied to the skin. The pulsed light activates this substance and causes it to release strong chemicals called free radicals which selectively destroy the bacterial cells and dry up the oil glands.
Light based treatments also have the long term advantage of improving collagen modelling in the healing skin, thus avoiding or reducing the possibility of scar formation.
Treatment can be used on acne lesions of any severity, both on the face and in other areas prone to acne such as the upper chest and back.
The treatment time depends on the area but is usually less than half an hour. If the photosenitising agent is used, this has to be applied about an hour before the procedure and left on till the treatment is done. No anaesthetic is required and patients usually do not find the treatment unpleasant, describing the sensation as nothing more than a hot pin-prick. Although this is an entirely safe treatment, a test patch may be suggested before the actual sessions are planned, to test the reactivity of the skin.
The skin feels warm after treatment and a reddening of the skin is quite usual, however, this quickly fades. Occasionally the skin may darken or lighten in tone, but these effects are temporary. Some skin peeling may be expected with the more aggressive PDT using the sensitiser. Applying sun screen is advised after the treatment, preferably avoiding the sun altogether for two days if PDT is used.
Depending on the severity or extent of the condition, you may need between one to six sessions at monthly or two-monthly intervals. This will be discussed with you during the consultation.
Microdermabrasion is a system whereby dead and flaking skin cells are removed by using a jet of sterile aluminium oxide sprayed on to the skin to create an exfoliating effect. Before this stage, the skin is prepared by a light vacuuming action from the instrument, this serving to bring to the surface an oxygen-rich blood supply which helps in the regeneration process. The depth of penetration is controlled by the operator so the treatment can be superficial or more aggressive according to the indication.
Skin specialists have been using dermabrasion for many years to treat such diverse conditions as acne, deep skin discoloration and fine expression lines and even stretch marks and surgical scars, through its actions of exfoliation ,stimulation of circulation and the formation of the body’s own collagen. In microdermabrasion, these properties are used to improve the general skin appearance and tone, or to treat more localized problems such as open pores, dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. A light microdermabrasion may also be recommended before procedures such as chemical peels, to help penetration of the solutions.
After vacuuming the skin to stimulate the local circulation, microcrystals are sprayed on to the skin to create a ‘sandblasting’ effect. The vacuuming stage lasts around ten minutes, followed by the exfoliation which lasts twenty to thirty minutes. The procedure is practically painless, and no special preparation is required. There is usually no more than a temporary redness after the treatment.
Since microdermabrasion is a relatively gentle treatment and effects improve with time, a series of treatments is advised for best results. The doctor or aesthetician will plan out your program according to the indication.