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Phenol Chemical Peel

Phenol chemical peels are the strongest of the chemical peels available. Designed to remove deep wrinkles and scarring, phenol chemical peels contain carbolic acid and are therefore much more risky than most other chemical peel treatments.

Phenol chemical peel treatments require mild sedation and local anesthetic, and a full face phenol chemical peel takes one to two hours to complete, although treatment of smaller areas with phenol chemical peel can take as little as ten minutes. New skin forms within three weeks of the phenol chemical peel, and the skin will gradually fade to white over the following months. Results of phenol chemical peels can last for decades, and no special care is needed to maintain skin improvements from phenol chemical peels, unlike the regimens required after most other peel methods, although it is recommended that phenol chemical peel recipients use SPF 15 to protect the new skin.

Serious side effects are possible with phenol chemical peels, including scarring, permanent pigment discoloration and discomfort. For about two weeks following a phenol chemical peel, treated skin will be tight and red, and many patients feel uncomfortable in public. A phenol chemical peel often turns treated skin a ghostly white, and there will be a line from the phenol chemical peel, marking the pigment change between the treated and untreated areas. For this reason, phenol chemical peels are usually not recommended for patients with darker or heavily freckled skin.

More information on phenol chemical peels is available through plastic surgeons who use this treatment. Patients interested in receiving a phenol chemical peel should talk with a physician to determine if this course of treatment is appropriate.