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Peel Science

By: Gül Ç. Zone
Posted: January 31, 2014, from the February 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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By definition, medical peels are peel treatments carried out in a medical spa or physician’s clinic. A medical peel can be characterized as an aggressive peel that may not only penetrate the full thickness of the epidermis, but can also quickly impact the dermis and should be conducted with the oversight of a practicing physician trained in dermatology or plastic surgery. A medical peel is typically used when less aggressive methods are ineffective for treatment of conditions such as profoundly photodamaged, or naturally damaged or scarred skin. They are characterized as medium-to-deep depth peels and are performed under anesthesia. Glycolic acid and TCA peels at higher concentrations are usually classified as medium depth, while phenol peels and modified phenol peels—such as the Gordon-Baker or Hetter formulas—are the most common deep medical peels.

Understanding the nuances

Advances in peel treatments now emphasize both the superficial wounding effect a peel produces, and the benefits of healing and reducing inflammation afterward to improve both immediate and long-term results. Understanding and respecting the tremendous benefits of peels, as well as their potential to harm if applied improperly, is a responsibility of all skin care professionals. Continued education in peel science and hands-on training should be incorporated, as well as learning the impact of a peel on the substructures of skin to help in the understanding of the fine nuances of this powerful treatment technology and allow the skin care professional to continue to provide this service at an exceptional level.

G%C3%BCl+C.+ZonePresident and founder of Ecozone, Inc. and Dermaware Bio-Targeted Skin Care, Gül Ç. Zone has combined her biomedical formulary background and cosmetic marketing expertise to develop Dermaware corrective skin care for esthetic spa and medical practitioners. Her knowledge has also contributed to the development of several international skin care lines.