Who is a candidate for a chemical peel?

Who is a candidate for a chemical peel?

The indications for a chemical peel are completely dependent on a person's tolerances and wishes for correcting a specific skin ailment. The type of treatment will vary based on the severity of the condition, the demands of the patient and, of course, what can realistically be achieved.

People with darker skin tones (Asians, African Americans, Caucasians of Mediterranean extraction, Hispanics etc.) need to take into account that chemical peels that penetrate the skin too deeply or generate heat resulting in redness can potentially alter melanin synthesis (melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair colour) causing abnormalities in the way melanin is distributed which results in spots or patches of discoloured skin. Deep penetration peels can also damage or destroy melanocytes (specialized skin cells that produce the protective skin-darkening pigment melanin), which may leave areas of the skin devoid of colour.

With that being said, if you have a darker complexion, do some extensive research before opting to have any type of chemical peel done. Meet with your aesthetician or doctor to discuss options and weigh up the pros and cons of each. The pre-peel consultation is vitally important to ensure that you are well informed of the possible risks and to determine which peel will work best for you. Make sure that you also discuss post-peel treatment options in order to calm the skin and prevent any Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

Chemical peels can be beneficial for those with darker complexions provided they are well informed and prepared beforehand, the appropriate type of peel is selected and it is administered by a certified aesthetician or doctor who is familar with the risks involved in administering peels for darker complexions and provide proper post-peel care directions.

Periorbital hyperpigmentation

Chemical peels to address pigmentary disorders

A chemical peel is often indicated to treat the following pigmentation issues:

  • Freckles (ephelides)
  • Lentigines (a condition marked by small brown patches on the skin, typically in elderly people)
  • Facial melanoses also known as melasma is a common condition that often arises due to oral contraceptive use or pregnancy (referred to as the 'the mask of pregnancy' or chloasma). It is caused by increased melanin and abnormal volumes of melanocytes under the skin, and results in hyperpigmentation patches)
  • Periorbital hyperpigmentation (characterized by dark circles around the eyes)
  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (temporary pigmentationthat follows injury)

Comedonal acne

Chemical peels for acne

Chemical peels may be indicated to treat:

  • Superficial acne scars
  • Post acne pigmentation
  • Comedonal acne (small skin-coloured, small bumps frequently found on the forehead and chin)
  • Acne excoriée (This type of acne is formed when a person continuously squeezes pimples & blackheads which then aggravates the area making it worse)
  • Acne vulgaris – (also known as mild to moderately severe acne)

Superficial aging

Chemical peels for aesthetic concerns

  • Photoaging (premature skin aging caused by long term exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds)
  • Fine superficial wrinkling
  • Dilated pores
  • Superficial scars
  • Seborrheic keratoses (type of skin growth)
  • Actinic keratoses (rough scaly patches of skin due to years of sun or UV exposure)
  • Warts
  • Milia (small white bumps that appear on the skin)
  • Sebaceous hyperplasia (yellowish or flesh-coloured bumps on the skin.)
  • Dermatosis papulosa nigra (is a skin of colour condition characterized by small brown or black spots around the cheekbones and eyes.)
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