Reversing Sun Damage and Aging Through Chemical Peels
We all love to bask in the summer sun but often end up burned from the sun’s harmful UV and UVB rays. While some people resign themselves to bearing the marks of sun damage, others have turned to chemical peels to counteract age spots, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone caused by a sun-kissed lifestyle.
How Sun Damages Skin
UV radiation accounts for 80-90% of visible signs of aging. Sunrays damage the skin by harming collagen and elastin, which prevent sagging and wrinkling. A sallow or dull complexion is caused by UV rays penetrating the skin and beginning to destroy or harm skin cells. The sun can also cause the body to increase melanin production, leading to the development of age spots.
These processes combine and cause the skin to look aged and weathered. Sun damaged skin cells rejuvenate at a slower rate, forcing the body to bear the signs of premature aging.
Chemical peels have been applied for centuries, dating back to Cleopatra who used the lactic acid in milk to give herself glowing skin. Recently, chemical peels have become popularized by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, who gives credit to chemical peels for eliminating the evidence of sun damage on her face.
These treatments work by applying a layer of an exfoliating substance, like salicylic acid, to the skin. Using strong exfoliants to remove dead and damaged layers of skin encourages the generation of new, healthy cells, speeding up the process of cell rejuvenation. Chemical peels range in depth, but most focus on rejuvenating the epidermis, or top layer of the skin, which can decrease fine lines, wrinkles, and slight discoloration.
Because chemical peels force new skin to develop, the recovery period often feels like a mild sunburn that peels over the course of several days depending on the depth of your treatment. After your skin heals, you can expect a smoother and more youthful looking appearance. It is especially important during the time following a peel to wear sunscreen and adequately protect yourself from sustaining further sun damage.
If you are interested in exploring chemical peels to see what they can do for you, please call us today at (614) 890-5565. Our friendly staff at Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery of Columbus is eager to help you get the best skin of your life!