Acne and Problematic Skin and the benefits of Salicylic peels

History of the Skin

Knowledge of skin anatomy and histology is essential in understanding the chemical peeling process. Skin covers the entire external surface of the human body and serves as a protective barrier, preventing exposure of internal organs to trauma, heat and light radiation, moisture loss, penetration of chemical agents and bacteria. The skin also acts as a temperature regulator. Skin consists of three principal layers; epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer. Epidermis: this is the most superficial layer of the skin that provides the first barrier of protection from the invasion of foreign substances into the body. The principal cells of the epidermis are called Keratinocytes. The epidermis is subdivided into the five following layers (beginning with the outermost layer):

Stratum comeum
Stratum lucidum
Stratum granulosum
Stratum spinosum
Stratum basale

Cells are formed at the innermost layer of stratum basale. They move up, changing shape and composition as they differentiate and become filled with keratin. They eventually reach the outermost layer or stratum comeum and are sloughed off. This process is called Keratinization and takes place within about 30- days. This layer of the skin is responsible for the look and health of the skin, as well as protecting it from moisture and penetrating bacteria. Dermis: this is the second layer of the skin whose primary function is to sustain
and support the epidermis, this is where most of skin appendages are located. The dermis is about five to seven times thicker than the epidermis. The dermis is composed of two layers, the more superficial papillary dermis and Papillary dermis: this thin upper layer of the dermis lies directly below the epidermis and consists of loose connective tissue containing capillaries, collagen and elastin fibres, pain and touch receptors. Reticular dermis: This bottom layer of the skin accounts for 80% of the dermis. Reticular dermis consists of a thicker layer of dense connective tissue containing larger blood vessels, cross-linked collagen and elastin fibres. Subcutaneous layer: this is located beneath the dermis and composed primarily of connective and fatty tissue. This layer is highly elastic and acts as a “shock absorber” to protect and support other delicate structures.

Mechanism of skin rejuvenation

Chemical peeling creates changes in skin through three mechanisms:
Stimulation of epidermal growth through removal of stratum comeum
Distraction of specific layer of damaged skin, especially in treatments of pigmentation abnormalities and actinic keratosis
Inducing production of new collagen.

Chemical peeling is an accelerated form of exfoliation created by the chemical agent. Light peeling agents induce a faster sloughing of the cell in the epidermis, whereas deeper peeling agents create inflammation in the dermis. Following the trauma to the skin, the wound healing process reorients the new skin connective tissue. Collagen remodeling is the main reason chemical peels decrease sun damage and reduce wrinkles. Dermal regeneration can take weeks to months. The epidermis however, heals in a few days giving the skin an improved appearance, more even skin colour, smoother texture and a healthier glow.

The SkinCeuticals Salicylic Peel

The SkinCeuticals Salicylic Peel minimizes the appearance of surface lines, smoothes out rough skin texture, aids in clearing acne and helps fade hyper-pigmentation. Dr Mark Palmer, leading cosmetic physician explains: “To many people, the very word peeling conjures up horror – the idea of going tomato red and chilli-pepper sore and then peeling like a snake over several days or weeks. However, this is not the case and this is one of the simplest, yet most effective, anti-ageing and anti-malignant skin treatments that there is.” For optimal results, SkinCeuticals Peel should be applied for a minimum of six sessions. In addition, the peel can be used as a companion treatment for other procedures including skin tightening with collagen stimulation using our Class 4 Gentle Yag laser

What Causes Acne?

For the majority of acne sufferers, outbreaks begin at puberty because the body begins to produce hormones called androgens. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge, which is a natural part of the body’s development but for acne sufferers these glands are over stimulated. Androgens are also responsible for acne flare-ups associated with the menstrual cycle and, on occasion, pregnancy.

When the sebaceous gland is stimulated by androgens, it produces extra sebum (oil). Sebum mixes with common skin bacteria and dead skin cells that have been shed from the lining of the follicle. While this process is normal, the presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chances of clogging and can cause acne. Stress levels have also affected sebum production and can increase severity of acne.

The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, (P. acnes for short) are present on all skins and are part of the skins natural sebum maintenance system. Once a follicle is plugged, P. acnes bacteria multiply rapidly, creating the chemical reaction we know as inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.

When you are exposed to unwanted bacteria your immune system sends in an army of white blood cells to attack. This is why pimples can be red, swollen and painful. The inflammatory response is different for everyone, but studies have shown that it is especially strong in adult women.

Solution: Dr Lewis offers a free initial consultation to discuss the condition, your history and available treatment options.
It may be that with active acne a course of antibiotics is initially necessary.
Once completed it may be that a course of peels is recommended using an AHA prior to the course commencing.
Red scars can be removed using the V Beam perfecta laser ideal for pigment removal.

What is a skin peel?

A skin peel is an exfoliation of the skin to stimulate the growth and development of new skin for a fresher, brighter more even complexion.
Skin Peels work best over a course of treatments, usually every week, dependent upon the condition being treated. We usually recommend a course 6 treatments.

We recommend you use an AHA product family for 2 weeks prior your appointment. This is to prep the skin prior the peeling. Alternatively we can apply the AHA prior to the peel on the day of treatment.

Will It damage my skin?
No. Skin peels will instantly brighten and refresh your skin.

Will it hurt and will I be red?
Skin may be slightly flushed immediately after but this will disappear with 20-30 minutes. You may feel a tingling sensation, but nothing more.

Will my skin peel and will I have downtime?
We use salicylic acid which is a newer technology than peel solutions such as glycolic and therefore you won’t have any peeling skin. Most people will just feel instantly fresher and brighter. You can return to work straight away.

We only use the Skinceuticals Salicylic peel which is extremely effective.

Will the peel dry my skin?
No. Skin peels will help to re-hydrate the skin and bond your own water molecules together. It will feel instantly hydrated and plumped out.

What are AHAs?
AHA is the acronym for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. AHAs are low molecular weight water soluble organic acids that are found naturally occurring in various fruits and foods; e.g. lactic acid from milk, glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, tartaric acid from grapes and citric acid from citrus fruits. Their relative size and molecular weight is shown here.

Why are AHAs effective for the treatment of ageing skin
AHAs have a dual purpose mechanism of action that is extremely beneficial in the treatment of aging skin. First, AHAs are moisturizers. Unlike typical moisturizers that act by forming an occlusive barrier on the skin to prevent excessive skin moisture evaporation; AHAs moisturize by “signalling” the skin cells to increase the natural ground substance found in the extra cellular matrix- Hyaluronic acid or HA (not to be confused with AHA).

HA is the substance found in skin that binds 1000s of time its molecular weight in water. HA is the skins natural moisture retention substance. AHAs moisturize the skin from the inside out!
Secondly, AHAs are natural skin exfoliators. Our skin is constantly renewing itself by a natural process of new cell division, migration of cells to the skin surface, and ultimately skin shedding of dead cells or exfoliation. As we age the process slows down. As dead cells back up in our outer skin layer, the skin becomes dull, sallow, coarse, and is prime residence for fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tones. AHAs exfoliate the skin because they have the unique ability to dissolve the cellular cement that holds dead cells together. AHAs return skin cell exfoliation to its natural youthful rate resulting in improved appearance in fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and restoring a more youthful radiant glow to the skin.

We use Skinceuticals AHA .

Pre peel photo - The Fontmell Clinic
Pre peel for acne - The Fontmell Clinic