Intro to Chemical Peels: Discourses on Chemical Resurfacing

Alpha hydroxy acids are keratolytic agents that work by dissolving bonds that hold dead skin cells together. Alpha hydroxy acids are superficial exfoliants that are commonly compounded from natural ingredients, such as milk, sugars, fruits, or nuts, that have been chemically changed to an acidic pH. Alpha hydroxy acids are effective in remodeling the epidermis and papillary dermis and require a pH of 4.0 or…
Sensitive skin is a common condition that affects a majority of people and commonly has predisposed factors such as ethnicity. Factors such as an impaired skin barrier, a weakened immune system, inflammation, and digestive health can also contribute to the skin’s sensitivity. The skin is constantly going through a repair process, so it is necessary to strengthen the function of the stratum corneum in order…
When treating skin of color with chemical exfoliation, it is necessary to consider racial background and ethnicity, as well. Ethnicities such as African, Asian, Eastern Indian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native American are prone to increased melanocyte activity during the inflammatory process. When determining risk factors to chemical peels, charts such as the Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype Chart, Lancer Ethnicity Scale, and Genetico-Racial Skin Classification can…
Prior to chemical peel application, there are important risk factors to consider. Understanding these risk factors will help to reduce side effects and will help to achieve optimal clinical outcomes. Risk factors are especially crucial to consider with layered peel application and caution should be taken with certain ethnic groups. When treating ethnic skin, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of skin histology,…
With cutaneous resurfacing there are various options depending on the condition of the skin and desired clinical outcomes. There are three types of exfoliating agents commonly used to resurface the skin. Keratolytic agents, keratocoagulant agents, and proteolytic agents. Keratolytic agents, such as hydroxy acids, work by breaking apart the bonds that hold skin cells together or by dissolving cellular glue. Keratolytic agents include hydroxy acids…

Methods of Exfoliation

Written by Linda Gulla
Chemical peels have been used for hundreds of years by many different cultures as a means of exfoliating the skin. Some chemical acids are natural agents that have been chemically changed to an acidic pH. Other chemical acids contain molecules that are naturally found in the skin. With an acidic pH, histological changes occur in the epidermis and dermis. In cosmetic dermatology, different types of…
The stratum corneum is the skin’s barrier and is the top layer of the epidermis. In the epidermis, keratinocyte stem cells reside in the basal layer, which is the lowest layer of the stratified epithelia. These cells divide further and differentiate as they move upwards in the epidermis towards the stratum corneum. Found within the stratum corneum are corneocytes which are dead keratin-filled squamous cells…

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