Chemical Peel Deep – Cosmetic Surgery

Introduction – Chemical Peel Deep

A deep chemical skin peel or phenol peel is the strongest of chemical peels. It is applied to people having profound wrinkles due to sun exposure. Skin wrinkling around lips and chin area can also be treated by using deep chemical peels. These peels basically remove the upper damaged layers of skin, thus reducing the imperfections seen in unevenly pigmented, coarsely- wrinkled and sun damaged facial areas. They give dramatic outcomes; however, the recovery time is very slow.

The chemical is neutralized with water. The skin is allowed to rest for an hour.
Individuals with deeper facial wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, scars, blotchy facial areas or areas showing pre-cancerous growths can undergo a treatment of deep facial chemical peels. The strongest chemical agent- phenol- is used by the cosmetologists in this procedure to penetrate through the skin to reach the lower dermal/ skin layers. Local anaesthesia can be administered during the procedure and a sedative can be given in order to manage the discomfort and irritation of the skin.

Mechanism of action – Chemical Peel Deep

A full-face deep chemical peel takes 1 to 2 hours to perform. A more limited procedure (such as treatment of wrinkling above the lip) will generally take less than a half-hour.

  1. Preparation of the skin before deep chemical peel-

Pre-treatment of the skin is required in this procedure, which can be as long as for 8 weeks. A drug obtained from vitamin A, known as Retin- A is used most commonly for the pre-treatment. Cosmetologist may use some other medication if an individual is unable to tolerate Retin- A. It becomes mandatory to pre-treat the skin for the deep peel because it allows faster skin-healing. Pre-treatment thins out upper layer of the skin, allowing the chemical solution to penetrate more evenly and deeply.

  1. Anaesthesia-

Local anaesthesia and a sedative are given to the patient taking a deep peel treatment. Anaesthesia numbs the face while sedative allows the patient to relax.

  1. Patient’s face is cleansed with a cleansing agent.
  2. Application of the deep chemical agent-

Deep chemical agent- Phenol is applied with a brush on the facial area avoiding the eyes, brows and lips. It can be kept for half an hour to maximum two hours.

  1. The chemical is neutralized with water. The skin is allowed to rest for an hour.
  2. A thick cover of petroleum jelly is applied on the patient’s skin to mask the crust that develops. The petroleum jelly must stay in place for at least two days. Patients having severe wrinkles are recommended to use the strips of adhesive tape with openings for eyes and mouth, rather than the layer of petroleum jelly.

Post-treatment-

Some patients experience discomfort after a deep chemical peel, but this can be controlled with medicine. A few days after the procedure, new skin with a bright pink color similar to sunburn will emerge; the pinkness fades out within a few days. Post-operative puffiness also subsides in a few days, but the skin remains sensitive. Patients should avoid exposure to sunlight and continue to use sun block.

Benefits-

  1. Improvements in the patient’s skin can be quite dramatic. Effects of a phenol chemical peel are long lasting, and in some cases are still readily apparent up to 20 years following the procedure.
  2. Variants in the phenol peel formula can create a milder solution for broader use.
  3. Normal work schedule and other activities can be resumed after 1 to 2 weeks.

Other Considerations-

  1. Following post-procedural complications are possible-
  • Scarring
  • Infection- The procedure can activate latent cold sore infections
  • Abnormal pigmentation
  • Bleaching effect- which requires patients to wear make-up to match treated and untreated areas.
  • It may cause skin pores appear larger and the skin may not tan properly.
  • All forms of deep skin peels include the risk of delayed healing and scarring.
  1. EKG monitoring is advised.
  2. This procedure should not be used on the neck or other parts of the body.
  3. Certain facial skin disorders do not respond to chemical peeling.
  4. It is not so effective in treating individuals with dark, oily complexions.

- Links of interest:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons website

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

 

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