Phenol peels are the strongest chemical peel available and are usually only used for severe skin conditions when other forms of treatment are ineffective.
These peels are often referred to as "deep" peels because they penetrate deep into the skin and produce very dramatic results. However, because they are so strong, there are also significant risks that must be considered before using this treatment.
When age spots show up, people often want them removed. There are lots of age-spot removal creams and gels on the market that claim to lighten and bleach the pigmentation to lessen the appearance of the spot.
The strength and deep penetration of a phenol peel will give many great benefits including:
Chemical peels are considered to be fairly safe treatments if administered by skilled practitioners, but the deeper the peel the higher the risk of complications and side effects.
This treatment is very effective but may also pose some dangers for certain people. You should consult your doctor before a treatment to ensure that phenol peels are an appropriate choice for your particular situation.
Some risks include:
Permanent Lightening of the Skin: It does effectively remove freckles and dark spots, however, your skin will look permanently bleached following a treatment. For this reason, they are not recommended if you have a lot of freckles since you will be left with a marked difference between your pale face and the still freckled skin of your neck and chest. Phenol peels can also cause spotting or blotches in darker skinned people and will likely leave a demarcation line as evidence that you have used this treatment.
Sensitivity towards the Sun: Although glycolic and salicylic acid peels require you to stay out of the sun for a couple of weeks following a treatment, phenol peels will leave your skin permanently sensitive to sunlight and you will need to use a high quality, full-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors.
Redness: After a peel your skin will be red and crusty. Even after your face regains a smooth texture, it will still look severely sunburned for up to 3 months. You may not feel comfortable going out in public for a few weeks, but after the initial crusting and peeling disappears, you should be able to cover the redness with makeup. Once the skin heals completely, you will be left with a paler skin tone.
Swelling: Depending on your level of sensitivity, you will experience moderate to severe swelling, but this will improve within 7-10 days.
Peeling: Your skin will peel and flake for about 1-2 weeks. This is normal since the purpose of the treatment is to exfoliate and lift away the top layers of damaged skin.
Oozing and Crusting: Since phenol peels are so strong you may develop scabs, oozing, or crusty patches. This will clear up as the skin recovers.
Pain: These peels are considered "deep" treatments so you may need to take pain medications for a few days afterwards.
Inability to Tan: Since the skin's ability to produce pigment is reduced, you will likely be unable to tan after phenol peel skin lightening effects. If you enjoy being outdoors, you may have to use makeup or spray-on formulas to ensure that your facial skin tone matches the rest of your body.
Possibility of Pigmentation: They work similar to a lightening agent so darker skin tones have a higher risk of hyper-pigmentation or uneven pale blotches.
Scarring: Due to the harsh nature of this type of peel scarring may occur.
Costly: They are quite costly, although only one treatment is needed rather than the several re-applications often necessary with other types of peels.
Since phenol skin peels significantly lighten skin, they work best on fair-skinned people. Those with darker skin tones may experience unwanted side effects such as hyperpigmentation or obvious demarcation lines.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should avoid phenol peels. This treatment also poses a risk of arrhythmias, so it is not recommended for those with heart problems. Many doctors will also require heart, liver, and kidney function tests before approving this treatment.
Your age may also be a factor since the skin tends to weaken and thin as you get older. In some cases, the strength and deep penetration of phenol peels may be too strong.
Phenol skin peels can produce very dramatic results. One can see a marked difference between phenol chemical peel before and after pictures. Although the healing process could take several months, the effects will last for years – even decades. However, it is important that you consult your doctor before having this treatment as there are many potential complications if they are not applied by a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner.
For safe and effective results, we recommend that you make an appointment with us for free consultation at any of CoLaz's locations.