Skin Resurfacing (Peeling)

Croton Oil Peels

Loose, wrinkled or discolored skin can be improved with skin resurfacing. These problems are usually brought on or aggravated by age, sun exposure, heredity, smoking or acne. Skin resurfacing removes layers of skin, thereby revealing a newer, younger looking more evenly colored layer of skin underneath. Skin resurfacing can be used on the entire face or just on specific areas such as the "smoker lines" at the upper lip, the lower eyelids or around the eyes.

Resurfacing produces a tightening effect on the skin which can result in a smoother, less wrinkled or lined look.  If you have a facelift or eyelid surgery you may be able to have skin resurfacing at the same time. Skin color is not necessarily a barrier to treatment, but fair skin tends to produce better results though skin thickness and texture may determine whether you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing. There are many types of skin resurfacing procedures. Most of them remove the upper layers of the skin and leave you raw for a period of time. The more skin that is removed, the smoother, more evenly colored and wrinkle free the skin will be.

However, the more the skin is removed, the more prolonged will be the healing, redness and risk of skin pallor. More superficial resurfacing results in less down time and a less dramatic result. There are also technologies that attempt to tighten the deeper layer of the skin with radiofrequencies or ultrasound instead: while they do not require a healing period, the results are less likely to be striking.

Deep skin resurfacing can be achieved with dermabrasion, chemical peeling by croton oil/phenol or with lasers such as the CO2 and Erbium-YAG devices. Medium chemical peelings can be achieved by TCA (trichloroxic acid) 15-25%. More superficial skin resurfacing can be obtained with creams such as vitamin C/retinoic/salicylic acid or procedures such as diamond/crystal microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion may be combined with a light chemical peel like Mandelic acid (we call it "Mykonos peeling" because we can do it at summer time) to increase the effect.

The risks of skin resurfacing are few but include infection, pallor or abnormal healing. If you have herpes, skin resurfacing can be unpredictable.  You must avoid sun exposure until the redness of your skin has gone. In fact, it is better to avoid the harmful effects of the sun permanently with sun block and head covering. Sunburns are the major cause of what you are trying to improve with skin resurfacing. Camouflage makeup can be used after the skin is healed. 

Remember: the deeper the burn, the better the result; but the longer will be the time you will want to be out of work until the redness settles to the point where you can conceal it with makeup.

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