Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing?
With all of the new technology that promises to keep us young, it can be difficult to choose which procedure is right for you. It can be even more difficult to see how these procedures differ from each other and the unique benefits or disadvantages to each. Hopefully, we can help clear the confusion when it comes to chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing is a relatively new procedure and the long-term effects are not easy to evaluate. We do know lasers allow doctors to make alterations to more detailed flaws and imperfections on the skin’s surface. These alterations can be more specific than those available from chemical peels, but cannot be made on the entire face.
Lasers are able to diminish the signs of imperfections on the skin’s surface by dissolving the molecular bonds of the damaged skin cells. This happens layer by layer until the new skin has a uniform appearance.
The best candidates for laser resurfacing have facial discoloration, wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars and other superficial imperfections. It is important to note, there are limitations to the procedure. Severe scarring may need additional revision techniques before the desired results are seen. Candidates should have realistic expectations and realize their problems may not be solved with one session – or even with laser resurfacing alone.
There are several risks associated with laser resurfacing. Clients could experience permanent changes to their skin pigmentation as well as infection and scarring. Since the procedure is so young, it is not known what kind of long-term effects laser resurfacing will have. The same is true about the results of the procedure. The procedure’s results are, in a large part, based on the size of the area being treated. Most procedures will produce the desired results, but come with an extended recovery period.
Alternatively, chemical peels have been used to rejuvenate skin for thousands of years. The first recorded chemical peels were in Ancient Egypt, when women in the royal family would bathe in sour goat’s milk to refresh their skin. Since chemical peels have a long history, the long-term benefits and effects of the procedure are well known and well documented. You can trust when you get a chemical peel, you are sure exactly what will happen when that peel is removed.
Chemical peels can – and should – be performed in the client’s own home, but this is not an option for laser resurfacing. While both chemical peels and laser resurfacing can require multiple treatments, your doctor or dermatologist will be able to give you a better idea about how many chemical peels it will take to achieve your desired results, as well as how often the peels should be repeated in the future. Since so little is known about the effectiveness of laser resurfacing, doctors cannot properly advise you how many treatments you will need or how often they will need repeating in the future.
While laser resurfacing may seem like an exciting new advancement in skin rejuvenation, chemical peels may be the better option. The risks and benefits of chemical peels are well known, while we are still learning about laser resurfacing. Being able to perform a chemical peel in your home is a big benefit that laser resurfacing just cannot offer. All in all, chemical peels are the safest bet for your skin!