As we age, our skin goes through certain changes. It thins and loses its elasticity, causing crinkles and lines to form. In addition, aging skin has a tendency to become blotchy and freckled, especially if it has been overexposed to the sun.
The chemical peel is basically a way to remove damaged superficial layers of skin, exposing a new layer of healthier skin, resulting in a softer, more uniform complexion. In addition, a chemical peel may stimulate the growth of new cells, thereby plumping up the skin and helping to tighten it.
There are many different types of chemical peels, ranging from very superficial to very deep. The depth of the peel that the skin needs is dependent on the degree of damage the skin has, and the amount of discomfort the client is prepared to tolerate. In general, the more severely the skin is damaged, the deeper the peel you need to improve it.
Very deep peels use a chemical, phenol, to burn off layers of skin. These peels can eliminate many facial lines, but they have a tendency to create a very pale and waxy looking skin. Light and medium depth peels, using TCA (trichloroacetic acid) or AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) create an excellent freshening effect, but won't remove deep lines because they don't penetrate deep enough. However, they will significantly help improve fine lines, particularly those under the eyes, since these are due to the thinning of the skin. In addition, these types of peels don't create a waxy or pale look. On the contrary, they give the complexion a fresh, natural look.
Freshening peels remove the damaged surface layers of skin and replace them with healthier layers from deep down in the skin. Therefore these peels remove a great deal of sun damage and can help create healthier skin, in addition to healthier looking skin.
Therapists and Nurses are restricted to superficial peels. However it is important to understand how these fit into the spectrum of skin peels as a whole. Therefore this course will cover peels in general and superficial peels in more detail.
Superficial peels can make significant differences to the quality of your clients skin, and have a definite place in appearance medicine and the Caci range of treatments.
Internationally the trend is towards repeated superficial peels rather than medium or deeps peels.
Chemical peeling creates changes in skin through three mechanisms
- Stimulation of epidermal growth through removal of the stratum corneum. Even very light peels that do not create necrosis of "the living epidermis" can induce the epidermis to thicken.
- Destruction of specific layers of damaged skin. By destroying the layers and replacing them with more "normalized" tissue, a better cosmetic result is achieved. This is especially true in the treatment of pigmentation abnormalities and actinic keratoses.
- Induction of an inflammatory reaction deeper in the tissue than the necrosis induced by the peeling agent. Activation of the mediators of inflammation (through a poorly understood mechanism) is able to induce production of new collagen and ground substance in the dermis. Epidermal wounds are capable of inducing deposition of collagen and glycosaminoglycans in the dermis.
Because deeper peels involve a greater risk of complication and a longer period of recovery, or downtime, the goal is to create as little necrosis as possible while inducing as much new tissue formation as possible. This is the concept behind repeated superficial and medium depth peels. They have low risk, but they create cumulative benefits that far exceed the results of one lighter peel
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA's) are a group of organic acids that have recently become popular in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions, particularly those characterized by hyperkeratinisation. Several of these acids are derived from fruits, so they are often referred to as "fruit acids." For example, glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane, citric acid from citrus fruit, and malic acid from apples. Although the concept of a natural fruit acid has been exploited by the lay press, it is important that we realize that the glycolic acid available for use on our clients is created in a laboratory and is not squeezed from fruit.
The exact mechanism of action of AHA's is not completely understood. However, it appears that these acids exert specific, separate effects on the epidermis and the dermis.
Your skin is a living organ, made up of millions of cells. Every day thousands of cells die, fall off, and are replaced by new cells. This is a slow and haphazard process that doesn't allow your skin to shed dark spots, sun damage and may contribute to a dull complexion.
The advantage of receiving a Jessner's Peel is that it gives you a good exfoliation of the epidermis layer of the skin. There is very little recovery time and it is suitable for most skin types. After the skin has finished shedding, you are left with a fresh layer of skin which should be protected from further ageing and sun damage by using the prescribed home care products.