Which skin conditions benefit from resurfacing or exfoliation?

Practically every skin can benefit from resurfacing, but you need to choose the right exfoliator for the job.

Unless you have a serious skin condition like eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis (when exfoliation is not advised unless under professional supervision), exfoliation can make significant difference to your skin condition.

At-home and in-clinic resurfacing

Your DIY exfoliators work well here:

Mature, dry and dehydrated skin benefits as exfoliation helps improve the efficiency of the skin’s own barrier function against evaporation. Penetration of treatments is also more efficient.

Oily and acne-prone skin benefits as pores are cleared of dead skin debris that can cause breakouts. Professionals recommend chemical exfoliation with glycolic or salicylic acid.

Even sensitive or reactive skins can benefit. The caution here is to use a gentle chemical exfoliator like glucosamine, which won’t cause irritation. Physical scrubs are a no-no.

Tip: The Renewal Institute recommends you seek professional advice to have the correct products for your skin needs prescribed, as well as advice about when and how often to exfoliate.

As a general rule, once a week is recommended for the conditions above. If you have ‘normal’ skin, twice a week should be good.

Caution: Don’t overdo exfoliation as you could strip away the skin’s moisture barrier, causing flaking, dehydration and irritation. You could even stimulate melanin activity, resulting in dark marks (hyperpigmentation), especially if you have darker skin.

In-clinic resurfacing

The Renewal Institute offers various levels and types of exfoliation, combined with suitable and complementary treatments. These are packaged in a number of solutions, tailored to the specific condition and its severity, to achieve best results.

Caution: It is extremely important to have your skin assessed by a trained skin care professional to determine which resurfacer is suited to your skin condition and treatment required. Not all skin types and conditions require the same level of treatment, and it can be a dangerous procedure if not applied correctly.

Skin conditions such as acne scarring, sun damage and pigmentation can all be treated successfully with the correct application of professional exfoliation, and it is also recommended for general skin rejuvenation.

For these conditions, the skin resurfacing options of choice are medical skin treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion. They remove the layers of dead skin on the skin’s surface and also stimulate collagen at the deeper layers of the skin after the treatment is done, which is where the skin rejuvenation happens.

Chemical peels vary greatly in strength, ranging from superficial peels to more invasive medium to deep peels.

Superficial so-called ‘lunchtime peels’ have no redness or down time. Immediately after, you will have a healthy, even skin tone and a smooth, clear complexion.

The more intensive peels penetrate deeper into the skin and there will be some downtime in the form of redness and flaking. The stronger and more aggressive the peels, the more intense the exfoliation, and the more downtime it requires.

Microdermabrasion also requires no downtime. This quick treatment uses microcrystals to polish the skin gently. Dead skin cells are lifted off the surface, leaving skin smoother, softer and more radiant. It is used for acne-prone skin to keep pores clear because it is so gentle.

Removing stubborn or deeper skin problems such as melasma pigmentation and scarring (from acne or stretchmarks or other scarring) may require medium chemical peels and light technology – using lasers such as Fraxel™ DUAL laser or Pearl rejuvenation laser .

A full skin consultation with one of the Skin Renewal doctors is absolutely vital in order to discuss suitability for this treatment.

To find out more about the different solutions that include exfoliation, or to make an appointment to discuss your particular needs with your aesthetic doctor, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

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RELATED TAGS: Acne Exfoliation pigmentation Skin Problems sun damage