FIRST QUARTER 2007, VOLUME 21, NUMBER 2

Chemical peels are still in how do you select the right peel

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Proper diet, support, relaxation all help prepare you for surgery

Chemical peels are still in how do you select the right peel

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Facial Symmetry? Contour and Reshape

Whether you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or minimize years of sun damage, there is a wide range of chemicals and strengths available to meet your needs. Find out more about this rejuvenation procedure including how the peel works and what strengths are available.

How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
Your skin is composed of two layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is on the surface. Underneath, the dermis is composed of long fibers, called collagen, that stretch and relax with age and sun damage. Within the dermis are two layers: the papillary layer (upper) and the reticular layer (lower). The papillary layer can heal from injuries without scarring. When the reticular layer is damaged, scars may result.

A chemical peel is applied to remove the damaged, outer layers of the skin so that new, regenerated skin can replace it. The active ingredient and the concentration of the chemical will determine what layers will be eradicated. The stronger the peel, the deeper it will permeate. After the damaged layers have been removed, the skin works to rebuild the lower, collagen and elastin layers of the skin to produce smoother, rejuvenated skin.

Bad Habits to Avoid If You Value Your Appearance
There are all sorts of reasons to avoid smoking, drinking, and drugs—three life-threatening habits that teens are particularly susceptible to. One reason is appearance. Just as with the foods you eat the toxins that you take into your body eventually will show up on your face. Let’s look at the damage they do.

Smoking

  • Constricts the small blood vessels of your face, reducing the supply of oxygen to delicate facial tissues. Eventually this will destroy that healthy glow that most teens admire, leaving you with a grayish "smoker’s face."
  • Contributes to lines around your face and eyes. Taking a drag on a cigarette causes your mouth to "purse up." While the lines may not be noticeable in the teen years, eventually the lines around your mouth become permanent. Wrinkles around your eyes develop even sooner—experts aren’t sure if this is the result of reduced oxygen to the face or because cigarette smoke causes squinting.
  • Stains your teeth and spoils your smile. Smoking also is directly linked to mouth and throat cancers. Incidentally, the chewing tobacco popular today might not make your clothes smell bad, but it does stain your teeth and contribute to oral cancer.

Drugs

  • Cause acne flare-ups (especially "speed" or amphetamines).
  • Suppress circulation to your skin, causing it to lose its natural color and look gray and tired. This is true of both stimulants and depressants, including the caffeine that is in colas, tea, and coffee.
  • Contribute to nasal problems. This is a particular danger with cocaine, which can lead to nosebleeds and breathing difficulties, destroy the cartilage within your nose, and even cause your entire nose to collapse.
  • Cause facial lines and wrinkles. This is as true of marijuana as it is of regular cigarettes.
  • Cause fluid retention that results in a roundness or distortion of your face if the drugs are steroids or synthetic male hormones.

Drinking

  • Dehydrates your skin by drawing water away from its surface. Healthy skin needs this moisture.
  • Increases the problem of broken capillaries.
  • Causes blood vessels to expand, or dilate, increasing the redness of your skin. An alcohol "glow" is too red to look healthy.
  • Lowers your physical reaction time, thus contributing to accidents, especially those involving motorcycles and automobiles. The facial damage from such accidents is a leading cause of facial disfigurement for teens.