What is a deep chemical peel?
If you have deeper facial wrinkles, skin that's damaged by the sun, scars, areas that appear blotchy or even pre-cancerous growths, deep facial chemical peels might be the right choice for you. Your provider will carefully determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment.
Your physician will use the strongest chemical called phenol to penetrate down to the lower dermal layer of your skin. For this type of peel, you may need a local anesthetic and a sedative to manage any discomfort.
A deep chemical peel usually involves some sort of pretreatment for up to eight weeks. This will prepare your skin for the peel and speed the healing process.
Pretreatment may include use of a retinoic acid cream or gel – a prescription medication that's derived from vitamin A. This works to thin out the skin's surface layer, allowing the chemical solution to penetrate more evenly and deeply.
- You will be given a sedative to relax along with a local anesthetic to numb your face. Your face will go through a stepwise cleansing process.
- Phenol is brushed onto the area after an appropriate time interval.
- The chemical is neutralized with water.
- A thick coat of ointment is smoothed over your skin, to prevent dryness and pain. The ointment must stay in place. Sometimes your surgeon will cover your skin with strips of tape or medicated gauze rather than ointment.
The chemical used in a deep chemical peel, phenol, can lighten the skin that's treated. With this kind of peel, your new skin often loses its ability tan normally. It is critical that the treated area is protected from the sun.
Phenol (a deep peel agent) also can pose a special risk for people with heart disease. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any heart problems and include it in your medical history.
Patients typically can return to work and some of your normal activities two weeks after treatment.
Deep chemical facial peels will result in peeling, crusting, skin redness and discomfort for several days to weeks.
Your doctor will provide painkillers to keep you comfortable. Although the swelling is likely to disappear in about two weeks, your skin may remain red for up to three months.
One treatment with a deep chemical peel will produce long-lasting and dramatic results that can last up to 10 years.