Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Department of Plastic Surgery

(909) 558-4176

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.

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.

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

Recovery: 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 Intraoperative Two days postoperative healing
 Five days postoperative 7-10 days postoperative appearance  

Actual patient photographs available at time of consult.