Home remedies and natural treatments are the preferred way to good health for an increasing number of people. Its an old axiom that good health shows on your face – in the form of a glowing skin. But these days, an equal number of people seem to be enamoured with the latest fads and techniques which have caught on in the West for skin improvements. For many, beauty treatments with botox are passé. How much do you know about skin-brightening procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical peels and lasers? Here are some facts about them, their benefits, how they work and their specific areas of action. Chemical peels — which use a liquid to remove the skin’s upper layers — can work well on discolouration, fine lines, and freckles. Dermabrasion, which uses a tool like a sander, can help deep wrinkles and scars. Both treatments can be done on part or all of the face, lightly or more deeply, affecting how long they take and the discomfort they cause. With good skin care, including sun protection, improvements from dermabrasion can last 10 years or more. But it’s possible that new wrinkles will arise as the skin ages. So always remove your makeup at night, clean your face gently every day, and use sunscreen even if you’re outside for just a short time.
Nearly a half-million microdermabrasions were done in the United States in 2011. Chemical peels — more than 380,000 — also were popular. Dermabrasion, which removes more skin and takes longer to heal, was done only about 25,000 times, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Compared with dermabrasion, microdermabrasion is a gentler abrasive process that “polishes” the skin, treating problems like sun damage, acne scarring, large pores, and even blackheads.
Most people have five to 12 treatments, each two or three weeks apart. Each visit can be an hour or less, usually about 30 minutes. In America, a chemical peel costs about $600 (Rs. 31,716) according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. A microdermabrasion session costs about $115 (Rs. 6,078.90). Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, a light therapy that can improve skin colour and texture, averages more than $350 (Rs. 18,501) per procedure.
Some people with acne find that chemical peeling can help keep their skin clear.
A ‘Lunch time peel’ is a superficial chemical treatment — one that doesn’t touch deep skin – and can take as little as 10-15 minutes. It can be done on people as young as their mid-20s to fight the first signs of aging. A facelift is better for overall skin sagging. But wrinkles around the eyes and lips — caused by the sun — respond best to laser resurfacing. You might do both for overall improvement to your face. Home treatments, with peels, for example, can be safe when used properly, but in some people can lead to skin reactions. They are unlikely to work as well as the ones a doctor provides. You should check with your dermatologist about home treatments, including peels and microdermabrasion kits, to make sure that whatever you choose is reliable and safe for you, given your medical history and other treatments you are using.
Chemical peeling isn’t just for your face. It can be used on just about any sun-damaged skin. A peel removes skin cells and reduces age spots, irregular colouring, rough skin, and freckles. It’s also good for fine lines, especially near the eyes and mouth. Chemicals wouldn’t be used on your eyes or lips. Deep chemical peeling can safely be done just once. Although it can improve many signs of aging, it is a serious procedure that involves pretreatment, a sedative and anesthetic, bandaging afterward, and a healing period of two or more weeks. Follow-up care requires visits to the dermatologist, soaking the skin, using medicines and ointments, and avoiding the sun.
If you have a dark complexion, your skin is more likely to become discoloured by deep chemical peeling. You also are more likely to develop noticeable scars. In particular, a retinoid drug called isotretinoin can delay healing and cause scarring. You must wait one year after using retinoids before you get a chemical peel or dermabrasion. Your dermatologist will need to take a complete medical history to be sure you get the best results.
Among various types of laser therapy, one called non-ablative laser rejuvenation_the kind that leaves the top layer of skin intact and targets the skin underneath _works well for early signs of aging. Laser/light rejuvenation_which uses light to treat skin defects_can work on many signs of aging and can often be completed in less than an hour.
(With inputs from the WebMD)
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is believed to be the safest skin rejuvenation procedure because it’s the least invasive. Microdermabrasions use hand-held devices to spray and circulate high-pressure micro crystal flow onto the skin. The machine mixes gentle dermal abrasion with suction to remove the outer skin layer (10-15 microns). And because this skin layer only has dead cells glued together, it doesn’t do any damage to the live tissue underneath. The risk of injury, bruising or complications is slim and no scalpels or chemicals, except for the micro-crystals, are used.
Unlike dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion takes no more than 30-60 minutes. It takes about an hour for a full neck and face microdermabration but it only takes about 30 minutes for smaller areas. It takes a few hours for most of the redness to subside before one can get back to working and two-three days for my skin to recover completely.