Chemical peels involve the use of an acidic substance to remove part of all of the top layer of the skin. This removes dead and discoloured skin and promotes the development of new collagen and elastin. Most chemical peels used in dermatology are made of glycolic acid, a naturally derived alpha hydroxy acid which is found in sugar and citrus fruits. Chemical peels are used to treat acne, uneven pigmentation, melasma, and fine lines. Often they can be useful in evening-out skin tone and texture.
A peel involves choosing the correct peeling agent and strength of acid for your skin condition and skin type. The agent is then applied to the skin and is removed at a precise time to ensure a positive outcome. Some patients experience mild burning of the skin during and shortly after a peel.
Some patients see results after one peel but, more commonly, peels are performed in a series. It is important to protect your skin from the sun as it heals from a chemical peel. Most superficial peels heal within a week. Medium peels can take one to two weeks to heal.
Microdermabrasion involves the use of tiny crystals to exfoliate the skin and gently remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells. A series of treatments can improve uneven skin tone, discolouration, clogged pores and skin "dullness". Microdermabrasion may be combined with the infusion of agents such as salicylic acid, which exfoliates skin and improves acne, skin hydrating agents or vitamins such as vitamin C to further improve results.