If you are looking for a radical treatment that will reduce facial wrinkles, and you are not getting the kinds of results you're looking for with glycolic or other chemical peels, then you may want to consider a phenol peel.
These peels are applied much like other chemical peels but penetrate deep into the skin. In fact, a phenol peel is considered to be one of the most powerful peels available, and requires considerable healing time. This is one thing that many patients unfortunately don't realize when they see phenol peel before and after photos – there is considerable downtime for the procedure, and some unlucky patients may experience permanent skin discoloration.
Therefore, while you may get the results you're looking for with a peel of this kind, you should carefully consider the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision about the risks associated with this treatment.
A phenol peel is most effective for treating wrinkles, but it can also treat sunspots and discolored patches on the skin as well. A phenol peel's strength lies in its main ingredient, which is carbolic acid. This acid, which is extracted from petroleum, is powerful and has the ability to strip away many layers of skin.
As a result, new collagen is produced at a much greater rate when compared with other peels. While this does have a profound effect on wrinkles, even those that are deep, a phenol chemical peel can also cause permanent damage to your skin.
Before choosing this type of peel, you should carefully consider your own individual skin type and ask yourself if the treatment of your current problems is truly worth the risk of potential skin damage.
Those with a darker complexion may want to consider other options for treating their wrinkles, as a phenol peel will cause demarcation lines on the skin, particularly between the face and the neck, and if you have sensitive skin that is prone to inflammation, you may want to consider other options, as the healing process for this type of peel will take weeks.
A phenol peel may require heavy anesthesia and a healing period of well over a month. The skin that is revealed after the peel is highly sensitive and will heal in stages. Once you come out of the anesthesia, your skin will be red, raw, and painful. Your doctor will give you pain medication to ease this pain as you heal.
In the following weeks, your skin will ooze, scab, and then redden, as if it sunburned. The final results will not be visible for some time, and in some cases, the treated area will be much lighter than other areas of the skin. This is one of the many side effects of the phenol peel.
This is considered a medium-depth peel. It reaches slightly deeper into the skin than alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels–and typically produce more obvious results. This type of peel also has the advantage of being suitable for most skin types, including darker-toned skin. To avoid discoloration, however, people with dark brown skin need to follow a pre-treatment protocol that may include treating the skin with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) first.
A TCA Peel removes dead skin cells, uncovering a "new" layer of skin that appears smoother and more vibrant. As a result, it softens fine lines, minimizes superficial "age" spots and other skin discolorations, and generally improves the tone and texture of your skin. TCA peels are also very popular for diminishing the appearance of acne scars. More than one TCA treatment may be recommended.
Treatments are usually spaced two to three months apart. To increase their effectiveness, these peels are often combined with other skin-rejuvenating treatments, such as microdermabrasion. TCA peels generally take 15 to 30 minutes. The exact length of treatment will depend on how many "coats" of the acid are applied to your skin.
First, your skin will be cleansed and degreased. Then the acid will be applied. As soon as the acid has reached the intended depth, your physician will apply a neutralizing solution. You'll experience a slight stinging sensation during the 2 to 3 minutes the solution remains on your skin. Your physician may use ice water or a fan to reduce any discomfort. If a high concentration of acid is being used, you may also be given medication for pain or anxiety.
You'll probably want to set aside several days to recover from a TCA treatment. Immediately after the procedure, you can expect some skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Within a few days, your skin will tighten and darken–then begin to crack and peel for the next four to seven days–at which point the tighter, smoother, and more youthful-looking layer of skin will emerge.
Because your skin's newly formed layer will be temporarily more susceptible to sunburn, you'll need to protect it with an effective sunscreen for several weeks.
Get a one on one consultation with Dr. Pedersen in his beautiful practice in Akron, OH