Keratosis pilaris is quite a common condition which affects a person’s skin. It is a complicated name for something which is completely harmless but is considered to be aesthetically annoying to those who suffer from it. Those who do have keratosis pilaris are often afflicted with poor self perception and feel very self conscience about it.
The condition known as keratosis pilaris is most often a result of genetics, but is also associated with a variety of other skin conditions. It can occur on all skin types and becomes worse when the skin is dry. During the winter season, because of the dry weather, keratosis pilaris can become worse. It happens most often in females and sometimes clears itself up in adulthood.
Keratosis pilaris looks like tiny bumps on the surface of the skin – similar to what goosebumps look like except they do not go away. The area feels rough and when it lacks moisture, the skin may also feel itchy. Keratosis pilaris is connected to the process of keratin production. Keratin is an insoluble protein found in hair and nails as well as the most outer layer of the skin. It acts as a barrier against infections. Excess production of keratin will clog the pores and hair follicles which creates the appearance of the tiny bumps on the skin.
Chemical peels which contain AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) have been used with success to treat keratosis pilaris. Because it is hereditary and there is no known cure, the condition will not completely subside but it can be significantly improved through the use of glycolic acidchemical peel products and other AHA peel products such as lactic acid. Glycolic acid peels work to remove the dead outer layer of skin cells which can unclog the pores to reveal smoother skin. The glycolic peels can be done every couple of weeks to achieve the best results and in between treatments a glycolic acid moisturizer will help to maintain the smoother skin.
If you suffer from keratosis pilaris and you are ready to try a chemical peel to treat the condition, Skin Rx recommends starting out with a 30% glycolic acid peel or 30% lactic acid peel. For maintenance in between chemical peel treatments, try Glycolic Smoothing Gel. With a consistent skin care routine including the glycolic acid or lactic peels, the skin will begin to look and feel smoother.
Both chemical peel treatments and microdermabrasion treatments are used to resurface and exfoliate the skin. The treatments work in different ways to achieve similar results.
Microdermabrasion is recommended to improve superficial skin imperfections. This includes mild acne scars, age spots or sun spots, enlarged or visible pores, and fine lines. A chemical peel, whether it is lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or other variation, is recommended for more serious skin conditions such as deep or severe acne scarring and moderate wrinkles or extensive sun damage. This means that the recovery time from a chemical peel may be longer as well.
Microdermabrasion treatments come in just one strength, whereas a chemical skin peel is available in various strengths ranging from mild to medium to deep. A deep chemical peel is usually only administered by a skin care professional who may use anesthetic due to pain or discomfort involved. Microdermabrasion treatments do not hurt at all, even with several treatments.
As far as recovery time involved for a chemical peel, it will depend on what acid was used and at what strength. If you are looking for something mild, a glycolic acid peel is recommended. While they require more than one treatment due to their mildness, glycolic acid peels do produce great results over time. Other face peels, such as a Jessner peel, may produce redness which lasts a bit longer and you may experience a burning sensation as they are a bit stronger due to the ingredients used. Microdermabrasion on the other hand, requires no downtime at all and the recovery takes just a few hours.
When it comes to results, microdermabrasion will require several treatments to be optimally effective, sometimes up to ten or twelve treatments scheduled two weeks apart. A maintenance session of microdermabrasion treatments is then recommended every couple of months. In contrast, a deep chemical peel needs only one treatment. A medium chemical peel will require a treatment once every 6 weeks and then a maintenance treatment once every 2-3 months for a minimum of one year.
Microdermabrasion and a chemical skin peel can be used on the face, chest, neck, back, and hands. Both treatments take about the same amount of time whether performed at home or in a professional skin care facility. Microdermabrasion and chemical peel treatments are both offered professionally in dermatologist’s offices and other skin care facilities but can also be performed with home versions.
At home peels, which are usually milder than deep professional chemical peel treatments typically cost between $15-$100 per treatment and home microdermabrasion kits cost anywhere from $40-$65 which include multiple treatments.
Unlike glycolic acid and lactic acid chemical peel treatments which are Alpha Hydroxy Acids, salicylic acid is a Beta-Hydroxy Acid. Salicylic acid is the only Beta-Hydroxy acid. The difference between AHA’s and Beta-Hydroxy acid is that AHA’s are water soluble while salicylic acid is oil soluble. What this means to those using at home peels is that salicylic acid peel products are great for people with oily and acne prone skin. Salicylic acid peels are very effective in superficial skin peeling and in reducing oil & cleansing the pores. Salicylic acid has been proven effective in fighting acne as well. For those with ultra sensitive skin, using a salicylic acid facial peel is a great alternative to glycolic acid peels. Salicylic acid peel products are specially formulated to penetrate into the pores to clearing them of oil and sebum while also reducing inflammation and irritation to leave a smooth, clear complexion. As an added benefit, salicylic acid peels are able to be used more often than the other chemical peel products.
Most commonly, salicylic acid peels are used to treat mild or moderate acne prone skin. Continued treatments can dramatically reduce the appearance of mild acne scars and red spots. However, salicylic acid peel products are not for people who have severe acne or deep scarring caused by their acne. Salicylic acid facial peel products are not strong enough to treat severe acne and a dermatologist or skin care specialist should be consulted before starting chemical peel treatments.
Besides being a great treatment for mild acne, salicylic acid facial peel products can also treat other skin blemishes including brown spots, dull skin, and uneven skin tone. Even though salicylic acid peels are good for people with sensitive skin, you should only perform these types of at home peels about once or twice a week. Salicylic peels are not recommended for every day use due to the harsh effect it could have on the skin if used too frequently. Start with a once per week application and if you feel that you are not getting good results, try using it twice per week.