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No procedure we perform has quite the dramatic effect on one’s appearance as the deep chemical peel. It is, however, the procedure we perform that requires the longest recovery and most patient compliance and patience.

A perfect candidate for the peel has extensive sun damage, a history of pre-cancers or cancer of the facial skin, has fair skin, lives locally to allow close follow-up, has skin that is not excessively sensitive and is comfortable generally wearing makeup. That is quite a long list, and not everyone has to meet all of these criteria.


When you hear someone mention a “deep chemical peel”, they are generally taking about a phenol peel, also known as a carbolic acid peel. As one of the most effective treatments for acne, a phenol peel goes deep into the skin to cause significant exfoliation to help correct the appearance of acne scarring, sun damage, wrinkles, and skin discoloration. A phenol peel basically uncovers healthy skin and achieves fantastic results.

Located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Dr. Thomas Funcik, MD serves the greater Charleston area with both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. If you’re considering a phenol peel in the Charleston area, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Funcik.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Phenol Peel?

Because the resurfacing can result in some lightening of the skin, the process is not recommended for those who have a dark skin tone.

Others who may not make good phenol peel candidates are those who have sensitive skin that is prone to inflammation. This is because the healing process for a phenol peel will take four to six weeks. If your skin is very sensitive, the recovery process may take much longer.

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What is Phenol Peel Recovery Like?

While patients love the aesthetic outcome of a phenol peel, this particular treatment does require extensive recovery time. The phenol peel is a very powerful treatment with the ability to improve substantial skin damage. It takes time to heal. These types of peels require IV sedation and a complete recovery period of over a month, because the newly-revealed skin will be very sensitive and will heal in stages.

Patients who undergo a phenol peel should expect their healing skin to peel, crust, ooze, swell, and become red and sensitive over the course of recovery. Staying out of direct sunlight during recovery is very important. Afterwards, outdoor activities can be enjoyed but faithful use of sunscreen is advised.

The brand new skin will start to develop about ten days after the treatment, and after about two weeks, patients can typically return to their regular daily activities. At that time, for a matter of months, special tinted makeup is required to hide temporary but sometimes stubbornly persistent redness.

For any discomfort during this time, Dr. Funcik will provide you with medication.

The recovery process can be tedious and uncomfortable, but the majority of patients are highly satisfied with the results. The significant difference in recovery time with phenol peels compared to other treatments is a testament to how effective and long-lasting it is. One phenol peel treatment will produce significant results that can last for a lifetime.

Possible Risks with a Phenol Peel

Another reason for those considering a phenol peel to think long and hard about the treatment is because there are some risks involved. These include:

  • Long-term lightening of the skin
  • Potential scarring if the skin doesn’t heal correctly

If these risks alarm you, please discuss them with Dr. Funcik during your consultation. He will work closely with you to achieve the best results possible.

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