Chemical peels restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or sun-damaged facial skin, using a chemical solution to peel away the skin’s top layers. This procedure works best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles.
The procedure takes approximately one hour for regional areas and two hours for the full face.
Topical anesthetic or sedation combined with local anesthesia may be used. When sedation is given frequently, EKG monitoring is used.
Usually this is an outpatient procedure. A full-face phenol peel may require hospital admission for a short period of time.
Possible Side Effects
Phenol and TCA peels: can cause temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness and acute sensitivity to sun.
Phenol peel: may cause permanent lightening of treated skin and permanent loss of the ability to tan.
Phenol and TCA peels: Tiny whiteheads (temporary), infection, scarring, flare-up of skin allergies and cold sores, excessive temporary skin pigmentation.
Phenol peel: Abnormal color changes (which may be permanent) and heart irregularities (these are extremely rare and occur during the procedure).
Phenol peels: Formation of new skin takes seven to twenty-one days.
The patient may resume normal activities in two to four weeks. Full healing and fading of redness may take three to six months.
TCA peels: New skin forms within five to ten days. The redness will fade over several weeks.
Phenol peels: Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.
TCA peels: Results vary and the effect is temporary.