There are some people for whom a chemical acid peel is simply not an option, even if it is performed by a dermatologist. Circumstances such as an underlying physical condition or the amount of damage to the skin may preclude such treatments.
For these people, however, there are alternatives. Some may be slightly more complicated than others, but at least a person who cannot have a chemical peel does have choices.
The most extreme alternative would, of course, be a surgical face lift. However, when one takes into consideration that acid peels are also medical procedures, albeit less expensive and complicated, the idea of undergoing a face lift may seem a little less extreme.
With the strides that have been made in surgical techniques, though, face lifts are not like they used to be. Smaller instruments can be used to make smaller incisions, smaller sutures, and allow for more delicate removal of excess skin, tissue, or fat.
Face lifts are still surgical procedures, however, and as with any other type of surgery, there is always the potential for complications. Further, many insurance companies still will not pay for any type of cosmetic procedure, including face lifts or acid peels.
Another option for those who cannot have a chemical peel is dermabrasion. In this procedure, special exfoliating solutions are applied to the skin and worked into the upper skin layers with applicators, such as battery-powered or motorized brushes or buffers. Dermabrasion is very similar to a chemical acid peel in that it removes dead skin cells and sometimes thin layers of skin, allowing new skin to be exposed.
Many dermatologists use laser technology to perform skin treatments. In this procedure, a dermatologist who has received specialized training in the use of laser technology employs this to remove skin that has suffered moderate to severe sun damage or scarring, or to remove or rejuvenate aging skin. In some instances, skin peels are performed. The only difference between these and chemical peels is that laser is used.
Those who are unable to use any of the acid peels, no matter how much they have been diluted may still be able to use skin products that contain small amounts of alphahydroxy or glycolic acids—the same ones used in chemical peels. The results will not be exactly the same as with true peel procedures, but some benefit can be obtained from using such products. The user can control the amount of product used and the frequency of use, adjusting the regimen as needed depending on how the skin responds to the treatment.
There are many over-the-counter products on the market that can reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Many of these include the ingredients that were mentioned in the previous paragraph, while others contain small amounts of collagen or other substances that, over time, will improve the skin’s appearance.
They won’t work as well as a chemical peel, of course, but then again, a peel does not work as well as a face lift. However, some people achieve very satisfactory results by using these products on a regular basis, as well as following basic skin care tips like using sunscreen at all times, drinking plenty of water, and maintaining a healthy diet—something everyone should be doing anyway.
The most important treatment anyone can give him or herself, however, is the one in which they search their inner self and find their true worth. That does not come in a bottle, it cannot be gained through any procedure, and it certainly cannot be bought for any amount of money. It can, however, be permanent, particularly if one takes the time to remember it each and every day.