Skin rejuvenation procedures accounted for 2.1 million non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2012, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Of those procedures, microdermabrasion was most popular, followed by chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing treatments. Here’s a closer look at the benefits, risks, and healing times for each procedure.
Chemical peels require the use of chemical solutions which, when applied to the skin, cause the upper layers of skin to peel away and reveal the underlying, healthier layers. The specific chemical solution used is determined by the problems you need corrected. Typically, chemical peels are useful in improving acne, age spots, freckles, scaly skin, scars, sun damage, and wrinkles.
Light chemical peels may lead to redness and stinging that feels and looks a lot like a mild sunburn. As the skin heals, you might experience crusting, too. There is a small chance of an infection, so follow your doctor’s advice on keeping the healing skin clean.
Medium chemical peels have similar side effects to a light chemical peel. There is the risk of scarring, but this risk is minimal. Again, you may look like you have a bad sunburn.
A deep chemical peel is the one that takes the longest in terms of recovery. It’s not a good choice for people with a history of heart disease or those with darker skin tones. The risks with a deep chemical peel include permanent loss of skin tone, redness that lasts for three or four months, and cysts that last for a few weeks. Plan to take two weeks off from work or your usual routine but expect your results to be dramatic.
During a microdermabrasion, a handpiece is run over the surface of your skin. This handpiece blows minute crystals over your skin at a high rate of speed to remove dead skin layers and reveal the healthy skin layers below.
The Ultrapeel Crystal system is one of the most commonly used by facial plastic surgeons. It received FDA approval in 1996 and uses a jet system to blow a microcrystal powder on your skin’s surface. It’s completely pain-free, so you do not need an anesthetic. It’s ideal for problems with acne, age spots, scars, sun damage, thick patches of skin, uneven skin tones, and even some wrinkles. Typical treatment areas include the face, forearms, hands, and neck.
Prior to treatment, your skin is cleansed of any oils or residue from cosmetics. The handpiece then runs over the problem areas for up to an hour. Following the procedure, a protective lotion is applied to the skin. Up to six treatments are necessary, depending on the blemishes you want corrected. There are no side effects, and you don’t need time to heal, so after a treatment you can return to your normal routine.
Do you have problem skin that would benefit from rejuvenation? Look at these before and after skin resurfacing pictures and see the tremendous difference a skin treatment makes. Then call Dr. Sheldon Kabaker, an Oakland facial plastic surgeon, to schedule a consultation for your own skin rejuvenation treatment. His office is easily accessible to people in the Oakland and San Francisco areas. Call (415) 379-9015.