Phenol peel, it is apparently the mother of all peels.
Especially when it comes to treating severe skin conditions.
It is the deepest peel that can be performed on the skin, as it is very caustic and burns all the way down to the dermis.
For this type of peel, carbolic acid or a very high strength trichloroacetic acid is used.
This peel results in a deep skin injury:
- Improves severely sun damaged skin
- Lessens severe lines and wrinkles
- Improves pronounced pigment changes in the skin
- Helps pre-cancerous skin lesions, known as actinic keratosis
Because this is such an extreme peel, skin healing can take a long time.
You can imagine the outcome…
The Skin initially turns a pure white, which leads to blotchy redness, swelling, peeling, and scabs.
The down side:
- Scarring can occur
- Sedation is used
- Two weeks down time is required
- They come with the risk of hypo-pigmentation
- They can cause demarcation between the face and neck
- They can only be performed by a dermatologist, doctor or plastic surgeon
Because of the side effects and the advent of laser, these chemical peels are becoming less popular.
The Naked Truth
A peel that contain carbolic acid, gives the skin a bleaching effect.
In some cases, patches of white or bleached skin can appear as a result; this is a condition known as hypo-pigmentation.
For this reason, these peels are NOT recommended for a darker skin.
I don’t use peels in my practice, but I did want to touch upon the subject because over the years, I have had many clients referred to me due to poorly-performed chemical peels by inexperienced therapists!
In some instances, permanent scarring or hypo-pigmentation is evident.
Some phenol peels can have dangerous side effects, especially for those who have heart conditions. The absorption of phenol through the skin can result in nerve damage and change heart rhythms, which can be fatal.
So, under no circumstances, should these treatments be taken lightly.
Before having a deep phenol peel, seek medical advice first so you can be safe in the knowledge that it is the treatment for you.