What peeling is and how it works
The skin represents the body's first barrier towards the outside, since it protects internal tissues and organs from adverse environmental conditions such as light radiation, heat and cold, wind, pollutants and much more. In its outermost layer the skin is composed of the epidermis, a barrier only 0.2 millimeters thick of which the superficial portion is known as the stratum corneum. This very thin layer of skin tissue is made up of continuously renewing cells containing keratin, and is physiologically lost within approximately three to four weeks through the process commonly defined as "exfoliation". Peeling is an aesthetic medicine treatment which consists in promoting this natural replacement of skin tissue through the use of chemical or physical agents (lasers). The name of this technique derives from the English term "to peel", whose meaning is "to peel": through the removal of the superficial layers of skin, formed by dead cells, the production of new tissues is stimulated by the dermis. Although peeling is used in most cases to treat the face and neck, there are practically no limits to the field of application of this technique. If necessary, peeling can also be used to treat the back, shoulders, upper and lower limbs and even the portion of the scalp which in bald people is most exposed to the degenerative action of ultraviolet rays.
The fields of application of laser peeling
In the aesthetic field, peeling is a widespread treatment technique that allows you to improve the appearance and health of the skin. By removing the dead cells found in the stratum corneum, it is possible to eliminate impurities, giving the skin a smooth and luminous appearance. For example, people who suffer from blackheads can benefit greatly from the use of peeling, since the treatment eliminates these unpleasant blemishes, reducing their future development. The action of the laser, in fact, allows you to regulate the production of sebum by the sebaceous cells present in the dermis and this allows you to effectively treat even the most difficult cases of acne, rosacea and hyperseborrhea (the classic "oily skin"). . When the skin has been exposed to ultraviolet rays for a long time during life, for example by sunbathing a lot or frequently using tanning lamps, it is practically inevitable that the surface will show signs of photoaging. This phenomenon is a widespread damage that presents with wrinkles, sagging of the skin tissue and loss of elasticity of the skin, and is caused by the degrading action of ultraviolet rays on the fibers and collagen. Dark spots, the appearance of venous capillaries and alterations in the functionality of the dermis can be effectively treated with laser peeling. Laser peeling is also indicated for people suffering from melasma, the typical dark spot that appears with age, and for people who suffer from skin blemishes due to the abnormal production of melanin (so-called hyperpigmentation). In addition to these purely aesthetic purposes, peeling is also of great help in the case of real pathologies, such as solar (or actinic) keratoses due to the aggression of ultraviolet rays which lead to the formation of continuously flaking tissues. The removal of keratoses is not only an aesthetic need, but also and above all a medical one, since these alterations can develop into skin tumors.
How a laser peeling session works
Laser peeling is carried out using special machinery capable of producing infrared rays, according to the pulsed CO 2 laser technique. These infrared rays are directed towards the points of the epidermis to be treated, at which they cause the practically instantaneous vaporisation of the water contained in the cells. In this way, the removal of dead cells from the stratum corneum is promoted, while stimulating the underlying tissues to produce new healthy tissues. Although on the surface it might seem like a very impactful technique, in reality laser peeling is considered the most skin-friendly type of peeling. In fact, only the target cells are hit by the pulsed light beam, therefore the surrounding tissues are not affected. Furthermore, it is possible to modulate the intensity of the laser, adapting it to the needs of the person undergoing the treatment, and managing to treat only specific areas and thicknesses of the dermis. The microwounds caused by the application of the laser are microscopic in size, and within a few days they completely heal. Depending on the degree of penetration of the laser into the skin, the peeling can be:
- very superficial: only the outermost layer of the skin is treated, with the aim of removing dead cells on the surface in case of hyperpigmentation or skin blemishes;
- superficial: affects the epidermis at a slightly greater depth, and is used in milder cases of photoaging;
- medium deep: in this case the penetration of the laser goes beyond the epidermis, and is indicated in cases of more marked photoaging;
- deep: this is by far the most invasive laser peeling, therefore it is used only in the most serious cases of photoaging.
Tips for safe laser peeling
Laser peeling is certainly not a dermoaesthetic treatment that can be improvised: for this reason, it is best to only contact specialized centers where qualified professionals work. The laser is in fact capable of causing serious organic damage if used incompetently, therefore the choice of the place in which to undergo the treatment must be considered with extreme caution and not based on the most convenient offer. But how to understand if you can confidently turn to one treatment center rather than another? First of all, it is a good idea to be received by appointment in order to obtain information on the possibilities of treating the blemishes you suffer from, on the actual expectations and on the procedures to follow before and after laser peeling. From just such an interview you can understand whether the staff you are dealing with is reliable and truly competent. Careful examinations of the patient's skin and taking photographs before and after treatment are other elements that distinguish a good treatment center from a sui generis one. Before undergoing laser peeling, it is essential to sign a release regarding informed consent. By signing this document, the patient declares his complete awareness of all aspects and potential risks of the treatment he will undergo.
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