Anti-Wrinkle Skin Peels: Are They Safe? Do They Hurt?

Friday, 15 Feb 2013 07:03 AM

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Facial skin peels are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the market today. They can take years away from our looks, but do they pose any risks? Palm Beach, Fla., dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Beer tells Newsmax Health how skin peels work and what you should know if you’re considering having one.
 
Skin peels use chemicals or lasers to remove outer layers and work to improve skin’s appearance and texture by revealing smoother, less wrinkled skin. After treatment skin peels off.

“A lot of people want to have skin peels and they range from people with sun damage to fine lines and even younger people with acne, because skin peels stimulate the skin to grow and renew,” Dr. Beer, a dermatology instructor at the University of Miami, tells Newsmax Health.

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Peels are particularly good for treating certain conditions, including pigment irregularities, fine lines, acne, and precancerous growths that accumulate over time, he says.
 
Chemical peels use one or a combination of chemicals, such as alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy while laser peels employ a light-based energy source to remove skin layers one at a time. Cost for peels, which is not covered by insurance companies, ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the depth of the peel and the complication of the technique used, Dr. Beer says.
 
“So a laser peel is much more expensive than a traditional chemical peel primarily because the technology involved is so much more expensive,” he says.
 
Depending on the depth of the treatment, pain medication may be used. As with most skin procedures, there are risks for peels, including changes to pigment, scarring, infection, and bleeding.
 
“The deeper we go the more likelihood to have risk,” he says. “That said, the overall risk when done by someone who knows what they’re doing is thought to be pretty small.”

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