Womens Health

Until You Turn Blue

As we age, most of us are in a hurry to look young, though many of us are not keen on having elective cosmetic surgery. There are other ways of looking younger that are less invasive and less expensive. One such option is the chemical peel. A type of chemical peel that is coming into vogue is called a "blue peel."

Fresh-looking Skin

The blue peel is a chemical facial peel that may also be applied to the arms, hands, or neck. Blue peels have the ability to lighten age spots and give a fresher, more youthful appearance to the skin. What a blue peel doesn't do is get rid of wrinkles. The effects of a blue peel are less drastic, but none the less satisfying. Blue peels reduce skin coloration from blemishes and age spots. After treatment, most people note younger, softer, more elastic skin.

The blue peel consists of the chemical known as trichloracetic acid (TCA) and is applied to the skin in 1-4 separate coats. The theory is that this chemical induces the skin to produce its own collagen, the protein responsible for the skin's elasticity. You may feel some local burning after each application of the chemical. Some patients elect to have anesthesia, though most opt to have the peel with no anesthesia.

Don't Get Burned

There is the risk of serious burns and scarring of the skin through improper application of a blue peel. That's why it's important you have the procedure with an experienced doctor or licensed aesthetician under the supervision of a doctor. This should be sufficient to minimize any possibility of such complications.

The procedure costs between $350-$500, so be wise and hire someone who won't cause you irreversible skin damage.

Note that you will have some skin peeling for a week to ten days after a blue peel, which is comparable to the affects of sunburn. Some patients will have a blue cast to their skin during the first few days following a blue peel. There may also be some reddening of the skin for a week or so. While the irritation has most people avoiding the use of makeup during the healing process, many find that the skin irritation of a blue peel is of a shorter duration than that of other chemical peels or laser treatment.

If you want to treat your wrinkles, too, there is the possibility of having a blue peel along with laser treatment.

The blue peel process takes 30-45 minutes. Once the chemical is removed from the skin, there is no significant pain. Make sure to use sunscreen during the first few weeks after the procedure. You can return to work the day after you have a blue peel.

Individuals may be aiming for different goals and some may need more than one peel to get the results they seek. A peel can be scheduled every four weeks, or you may opt to have a second blue peel in six months.

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