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.  Chemical Peel (Phenol and Trichloroacetic Acid [TCA])
Length One to two hours for full face.
Anesthesia None; sedation, and EKG monitoring may be used.
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient. Full-face phenol peel may require admission for one to two 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.


Both: Tiny whiteheads (temporary), infection, scarring, flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores.
Phenol: Abnormal color changes (permanent); heart irregularities (rare).


Phenol: Formation of new skin: 7 to 21 days.
Normal Activities: 2 to 4 weeks.
Full healing and fading of redness: Three to six months.
TCA: New skin within five to ten days.

Duration of Results

Phenol: Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.
TCA: Variable (temporary).


Preoperative appearance chemical peel photo
Preoperative appearance
Intraoperative chemical peel photo
Two days postoperative healing chemical peel photo
Two days postoperative healing
Five days postoperative chemical peel photo
Five days postoperative
7-10 days postoperative appearance chemical peel photo
7-10 days postoperative appearance

Actual patient photographs available at time of consult.