Phenol Peel: Recovery Review - Taipei, Taiwan

I am a 34 year old redhead who has tried Fraxel,...

I am a 34 year old redhead who has tried Fraxel, the Yag laser, and botox in an effort to soften crow's feet and acne scars. Nothing has worked and my dermatologist with a PhD from Harvard recommended a Phenol Peel.

He performed the peel in a public hospital in Taipei, Taiwan yesterday. My dermatologist has a lot of experience administering phenol peels and told me not to worry. At the moment it is the second day of my recovery and I have to wear a mask of bandages "like a mummy" for 8 days.

The phenol peel procedure was somewhat uncomfortable and took about two hours. My doctor injected my face with a nerve block and applied the phenol in patches starting from my forehead and moving downwards until my entire face was covered. He even put a small amount of phenol on my eyelids. Overall, I did feel some initial burning from the phenol which then resided. The experience was not pain free and I was given a morphine tablet to feel more comfortable.

After the phenol application my Doctor told me to drink lots of water and eat as much as I could. He cut the mouth opening on the mask so that I would be able to chew and I've been eating soup and pasta without a problem. Although, this is only my second day of recovery the experience is not so bad. I am not in pain and do not have to dress the wound as the mask stays on for 8 days. A phenol peel is much less messy than the Yag laser and should produce better results.


Hi redheadinher30s,

Wow, you have to have your whole face wrapped up for 8 days? I guess that makes it hard to leave the house.

Just a question, you said you live in the US, but went to Taiwan to have all the laser procedures done. Why go so far?

Please keep us updated on how your recovery continues.



Hi Britt,

I lived in Taiwan for four years and taught English before moving back to the USA this summer. My husband has a business based in Taiwan so I go back twice a year.

Many Taiwanese Doctors are trained in the USA and there is an emerging health tourism market here.

Today I had my bandage mask taken off after 8 days which removed the layer of skin on top of my forehead and cheeks completely. Now I have to cover my skin in zinc oxide and Vaseline for several more days.

Hi Red,

Thanks for answering my question. Ohh, sounds painful to take off the bandages, I hope the zinc and vaseline helps. Please keep us updated.




Yesterday I got my lower eye lids done and it was...

Yesterday I got my lower eye lids done and it was a completely different experience. Much more easier than the full face. I did not even take any pain pills today and feel fine. The cost was $300USD and I went to see the same doctor.

Six months after the phenol peel my skin looks like new. All sun damage and fine lines are gone. In addition, my acne scars are greatly reduced by about 80%. However, I do have a scar on my lower chin from eating when the phenol bandage mask was on during my recovery. This is a bit annoying but the scar will blend into my skin when healed. Right now the scar is red but it should fade within a year.

Even with the scar I would rate the Phenol Peel as worth it. The peel is much more effective than the Fraxel re:store and Yag laser. The Phenol is very invasive though and not for everyone. Recovery takes weeks. You can not leave the house for at least two weeks and then your skin peels for another two more weeks and is very awkward in public. I had bright red skin for about four months and only stopped wearing make-up after five months.

My Dr. was Dr. Yeh at Taipei Medical University Shuang Ho Hospital. He is one of the best dermatologists in Taiwan.

Hi, Please tell me if your skin turned white?
Looks great. Does your doctor perform many of these on Asians?
kathi ... I've had several peels done but my deepest was a Obaji, 4 layers of 20% TCA. I believe Obaji is considered a medium depth peel. In my personal oppinion you don't necessarily have to skip sunny vacations but you would need to apply 50+ sunscreen on your face several times a day and I wouldn't go without a hat because your skin is delicate after a peel and very subceptible to burning and then you just get the darking again, which defeats the purpose of why you got the peel in the first place. Not to mention, sun reflects off water if you're on a beach or by a pool, just something to think about. I hope this makes sense. And phenol peels are even deeper, therefore, skin would be more delicate in following weeks/months after the skin has peeled. I always try to get my peels outside of the summer months.

Dr. Yeh at Taipei Medical University Shuang Ho Hospital

Excellent results! More than what I expected. Recovery was very hard to live through but worth it. Much better than any laser resurfacing.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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