Procedure: Restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or
sun-damaged facial skin, using a chemical solution to peel away skin's top
layers. Works best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles.
Length: 1 to 2 hours for full face.
Anesthesia: None; sedation & EKG monitoring may be used.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient. Full-face phenol peel may require
admission for 1 to 2 days.
Side Effects: Both: Temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness;
acute sensitivity to sun. Phenol: Permanent lightening of treated skin;
permanent loss of ability to tan.
Risks: Both: Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up
of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores. Phenol: Abnormal color changes
(permanent); heart irregularities (rare).
Recovery: Phenol: Formation of new skin: 7 to 21 days. Normal activities:
2 to 4 weeks. Full healing and fading of redness: 3 to 6 months TCA: New skin
within 5 to 10 days.
Duration of Results: Phenol: permanent, although new wrinkles may form as
skin ages. TCA: variable (temporary).