Phenol Peel in Portsmouth, NH With Dr. Anthony Wilson
Do you wish that you could wave a magic wand to erase discolored, wrinkled, or scarred skin from your face and restore a younger look? That is just what a phenol peel can do in the hands of a skilled doctor.
All chemical peels have a rejuvenating effect on the skin. Phenol peels are the deepest type of chemical peel and can produce the most dramatic results. And where milder chemical peels may require multiple treatments to have a visible effect, only a single treatment is needed with a phenol peel.
What Is a Phenol Peel?
Chemical peels exfoliate the skin (remove the outer layer) to promote fresh growth of newer, smoother skin as a replacement. A phenol peel uses carbolic acid to penetrate deeper, down to the lower dermal layer of your skin, so regrowth starts at a deeper level.
Because it penetrates so deeply, a phenol peel can eliminate discolored, scarred, and lined skin on the surface, and the fresh growth of smooth, unblemished skin can give you a significantly younger look.
Why You Might Consider a Phenol Peel
If you are bothered by moderate lines and wrinkles on your face, rough or coarsened skin, surface scars such as those from acne, uneven coloring as from age spots, or even pre-cancerous growths on your face, a phenol peel may be the answer. It is an intensive treatment that must be performed by a skilled practitioner, but in the right hands, a phenol peel can give dramatically rejuvenating results.
Phenol Peel Results
After a deep chemical peel, the skin on your face will have a remarkably smoother, brighter, and more even appearance. The skin will be more elastic. Fine to moderate lines and wrinkles will be eliminated, as will surface roughness and scarring. Uneven coloring, as from age spots, will be cleared away as new skin grows in. You will look 5 to 10 years younger.
You will need to protect your skin from the sun after a phenol peel, as your skin will be permanently sensitive to the sun and can be injured or discolored by exposure. Dr. Wilson will advise you on steps to take to ensure optimal results from the treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Phenol Peel?
A phenol peel works to rejuvenate skin on the face. If you would like to reduce or eliminate fine to moderate facial lines, remove surface scars, or restore even coloring and smooth skin texture, you may be a good candidate for the treatment.
It’s important to understand, though, that a deep chemical peel is not a remedy for significantly loose, sagging skin. Facial surgery or other treatments may be needed to correct these problems.
Also, if you have dark skin, the bleaching effect of a phenol peel may lead to uneven coloration. Dr. Wilson can advise on whether a light or moderate peel might be a better option, or perhaps another treatment, such as microdermabrasion.
Finally, a phenol peel is not recommended for patients with certain heart, kidney, or liver conditions or for women who are pregnant.
What Happens in a Phenol Peel Procedure?
A phenol peel is performed under carefully monitored conditions in Dr. Wilson’s clinic/office. You will be given a sedative, then a local anesthetic to numb your face. The skin on your face is then carefully cleaned and dried, and the phenol solution is applied. The solution also contains an anesthetic. You may feel a mild tingling or burning sensation as it begins to work.
The phenol solution is left on the skin for a precisely calibrated length of time. A soothing ointment is applied to the treated area. Or it may be covered with strips of medicated tape or gauze.
In most cases, the phenol solution is applied and removed in sections, rather than treating the entire face with a single application. This gradual approach limits the effect of the chemical on your body’s metabolism.
The procedure usually takes one to two hours to complete.
What Can I Expect in Recovery?
You will need some downtime after a phenol peel. Someone else will need to drive you home after the procedure, and you should expect to take a break from your normal activities for about two weeks.
For the first few days, your face will be swollen and red. Dr. Wilson will prescribe painkillers to minimize any discomfort you may feel. A crust will then form on the treated skin, which will flake off in another week to ten days to reveal your newly formed skin. The new skin will appear bright pink at first. The pink color will gradually fade, over two or three months, to its final even, smooth complexion.
It is important, during this recovery period, that you follow Dr. Wilson’s care instructions faithfully. You should not pick at the crusted skin, for example, and you will need to stay out of the sun. Dr. Wilson will advise on what types of makeup are safe to use and when you can start to use them.
Questions and Answers About Phenol Peels
Dr. Wilson will prescribe the use of a weak acid cream or gel for the few weeks before your phenol peel to prepare the skin for treatment. This thins the skin’s surface layer and allows the phenol solution to penetrate evenly and deeply. You should also avoid sun exposure in the weeks before the treatment. In the last week before the procedure, Dr. Wilson will advise you to stop using certain cosmetics, facial scrubs, and hair-removal methods.
Dr. Wilson and his team will evaluate you with a complimentary pre-procedure skin treatment. This is done two weeks prior to your peel. At this appointment, Dr. Wilson and his team will ask you to discontinue your topical ointments and creams. Most importantly, retinol and retinoids must be discontinued.
Dr. Wilson and his team recommend the use of retinol and hydroquinone in the months preceding the treatment. These will be discontinued two weeks before the treatment and resumed four weeks after the treatment per the discretion of Dr. Wilson and the practice providers.
You will see the first results of your phenol peel after about two weeks, when the old skin falls away and the new, smooth skin is revealed. It will take another few weeks before the pink color of the new skin fades to its final tone. Most patients see dramatic and positive results two or three months after the procedure, and those results continue to improve through the first year.
While light and moderate chemical peels can be repeated, it is generally not recommended to have a second deep peel. In rare occasions, after an appropriate interval, a secondary deep exfoliation such as the phenol peel may be performed.
Dr. Wilson is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is recognized for his expertise in facial cosmetic treatments. A phenol peel is a powerful treatment that must be administered by a doctor with an understanding of its risks. For your health and for optimal cosmetic results, it is important to choose a doctor with the skills, training, and experience to perform a phenol peel safely.