Exfoliating removes dry and dead skin cells that are on the surface of your skin. It also gives your skin a healthy glow, because it increases the blood circulation. You can purchase over-the-counter products to exfoliate your skin, but these products are not as effective as what a dermatologist uses, and you could damage your skin. Below are the main problems you could cause if you do this on your own, as well as techniques dermatologists use in their office to remove your dry/dead skin cells.
Problems With Exfoliating Your Skin Yourself
Below are two ways you can exfoliate your skin at home and the problems they may cause you.
Chemical exfoliation uses alpha hydroxy acid to exfoliate your skin. It works by rejuvenating your skin and speeding up cell turnover. You can find these products on the market under different brand names. Doing this yourself, however, can increase your risk of sun damage to your skin. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), studies show that applying alpha hydroxy acid to your skin will increase UV sensitivity. If you choose to use this product, make sure you apply a sunblock with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15, 30, or 50 to your face before going outside.
If you purchase a rough scrub for your face and body, such as a walnut or almond scrub, it does work great at removing dead skin cells. However, these rough scrubs can also create tiny micro tears on the surface of your skin. Even though these tears are tiny, bacteria can get into the openings, which will increase acne. Scar tissue can also develop, which will make you more prone to developing wrinkles. If you decide to use these scrubs, follow the instructions carefully.
Exfoliating Treatments from a Dermatologist
A dermatologist can perform microdermabrasion on your face. This method uses diamonds or tiny crystals to remove the dead skin cells, without causing micro tears on your skin. There are no chemicals used so you will not have to worry about sun damage, and the procedure can be done in the dermatologist office.
The dermatologist can also use a chemical peel on your face. This peel causes the outermost layer of your skin to peel away, which not only removes dead skin cells, but also evens out your skin tone. Your result will be smoother and healthier skin. Because a layer of your skin is removed, you will be more susceptible to sun damage. For this reason, your dermatologist will ask you to wear a sunblock for a certain amount of time.
Make an appointment with a dermatologist like Henry E. Wiley, III, M.D. to learn more about these treatments.