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Recovering Process from my Phenol Peel - Tucson, AZ

Growing up in Arizona without spending much...

Growing up in Arizona without spending much thought on the proper care of protecting my skin has left my skin with many fine & deep wrinkles. Add smoking and genetics & I am looking much older than my 39 years. After much deliberation, I have decided to go thru with the expensive & lengthy recovery process of a phenol peel. After 6 hours I would describe my rating as undecided. There was an extreme burning sensation & quite a lot of swelling. Cold wet compresses & assurances from my surgeon that the burning would ease up by the evening (along with Percocet) are the only things to get me thru this so far. I was put under with general anesthesia for the surgery and had no problems with that, there are some bruises from where the locals were also given.

Thankfully, other than my skin felling afire, I haven't felt additional pain or nausea.
24 hours: I am awake with severe swelling, but not much pain at all. The doctor told me the swelling will peak at 48-72 hours then subside. It will be very scary to have my eyes swollen shut, but am prepared. I got to wash my face for the 1st time and was scared it was going to hurt. It didn't hurt, but didn't offer much relief in this awkwardness of feeling huge & "oozy" either. My teenagers are a little frightened of me , but told them I would get worse before I was better. My husband is being a trooper, but this is pretty disgusting. I can't wait for the swelling to subside! I have been told to apply Vaseline every chance I could & it is EVERYWHERE! Will post my progress again when I can see. Still undecided, but hopeful!

Start of day 4- swelling is down! Never knew my...

Start of day 4- swelling is down! Never knew my face could get that big! My face is very red and tender, as I am typing I am working up the nerve of doing my first "wash" of the day. It seems to be most painful in the morning after it gets a little too dry while sleeping. I am still battling Vaseline, can't wait to get past that stage, I don't think I will ever be able to smell it again without thinking if all if this! Today is my 1st follow up with the surgeon, I have been following his directions, but still afraid at times of scarring because I'm not sure how everything should look. Will follow up later- will try again to post some pics, scary but a good idea of what will happen. (looks much worse than it feels!)

Day 7!! Looking much better, I wouldn't head to...

Day 7!! Looking much better, I wouldn't head to the store yet but probably wouldn't make a baby cry! I am still very red, but have no pain at all, even when I'm doing my washes. I have started to itch, very badly!! I took the recommended dose of Benadryl, but it hasn't seemed to help much. I am really hoping not to scratch too much in my sleep. And I have now "graduated" from 24 hour Vaseline coating to aquaphor!

I have added some pictures from the first few days...

I have added some pictures from the first few days post surgery....Looks bad, but getting better everyday. I am now 10 days post surgery and most of my face has healed. I am still very red, but hoping my check up tomorrow I will get the okay for sunscreen & make up to return to the outside world! I am hoping to get the before and after pictures from my doctor to post. Because I was so embarrassed of my skin damage I don't have many pictures from the before. (I avoided the camera as much as I could!)

**Just realized I uploaded the wrong pic for day...

**Just realized I uploaded the wrong pic for day 5- that was actually a full week post-op. Sorry!

Day 12- went back to work today and it wore me out...

Day 12- went back to work today and it wore me out a little. I am still very red and a little swollen. I got the ok from my Doctor to wear sunscreen and a little make-up. The make up was gone after about 3 hours, my face sucks up any moisture that it can & I got very dry. I will have to take extra facial cream & touch up ingredients to make it thru the day! Am starting to get little white bumps that the Dr. will remove in a couple of weeks. Was also surprised & dismayed to learn yesterday that this seems to have promoted some facial hair...bad news is there is nothing I can do but wait for more healing. (possibly 2 months!!) Hoping I don't grow a beard, but then again, it might hide the line from surgery! Upgraded to worth it after being told I looked 10 years younger!!

Day 15- Feeling a little down, my face is so read...

Day 15- Feeling a little down, my face is so read & breaking out. I've tried different types of make up (liquid, mineral powder& cream), but my face is so dry it just seems to suck it in & I end up looking terrible. I resigned myself to just wearing my heavy duty moisturizer & sunscreen yesterday to work. I guess I just need patience, but it's hard!
Dr. E

I don't want to share my doctors name without permission. He was the only one in town that still does the phenol peel. As he stated, with the laser resurfacing & dermabrasion, phenol peels are a "dying" art. But as I researched and in addition with what i learned from him, this would work the best with my complexion & type of sun damaged wrinkles around my mouth

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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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Comments (13)

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Hi! I also live in Tucson and am considering having the peel done by the same doctor as he was very highly recommended. Are you still pleased with your results and can you post an updated photo? Looking at your 5-day picture, you appear to be healing really well and quickly. It's making me feel more at ease with the procedure. :) How did you handle facial hair management (eyebrows and the other hair you mentioned)? This is my primary concern. Can you also let me know which skin care products/makeup he or his staff recommended? Thank you so much for sharing!
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The hair I am still dealing with because I still have a few areas that are red & I don't want to damage my skin by waxing or cream. They had quite a few items they wanted me to purchase; sunscreen there was $50, repair cream was $240! I did research & found it for considerably less amazon for $120- but you have to research & make sure the seller uses fresh product & not fake or expired cream. I bought some glomineral makeup for redness off of the recommendation of another patient on here. I have a few areas of acne scarring that actually look more severe now that I might have to do something about when I'm all healed. Dr. E suggested dermarolling. Other than that and a few deeper lines around my eyes I think it was worth it. Please know, recovery is very lengthy, still dealing with it & probably will another month or two! Good luck, keep me posted!
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Hi! Are you still happy with your results? Thought I would update you on my progress since your advice was instrumental in my decisions (thank you!) I opted in December to have an upper blepheroplasty and do the peel only under my eyes to avoid doing the lower blepheroplasty. The healing on the peel was much tougher than the bleph but so worth it. I'm very happy with our doctor and the results. Thanks, again, for sharing your experience.
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Hi, You will find my posts and pics from the past 3 weeks post procedure under llsunny or look up "Chemical Peel-Day to Day Details of my...." I wanted to give you a tip about make-up. I have ordered 3 products from Glominerals via the internet. They have their own site and it can also be ordered from Dermstore.com. I spent $99 and it was well worth it!!! Check out my postings for additional hints. I hope you are doing well!
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Thank you for the information. I have been following your recovery as well. I'm so happy to see you are pleased with your results!
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10 years younger?! No wonder you switched it to worth it - that is great! So happy for you!

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Wow, thank you so much for posting those photos. Those are incredible! Was it scary to see that much swelling? I would think even if you kind of knew what to expect, seeing that much swelling could feel alarming.

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Wow the swelling got really bad, but that is good for me to know what to expect. Was your face covered by bandages at all? My plastic surgeon told me that I will have bandages for the first few days following the peel. Your day 5 picture looks like you have healed quite fast.
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Yes, the swelling was bad! No, I didn't have any bandages at all. I had to start 4 washes a day the 1st day after surgery- I'm glad I didn't have to redo bandages each time!

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Look forward to hearing more about your recovery. I am 36 and having a phenol peel done next week.
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I am happy so far but will say it was much more extensive than I had prepared myself for! I will try to get my pics up today, please know it gets ugly, but gets better! It was most painful the 1st two days with burning & swelling- now it's just horribly itchy! I'm excited for you!
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Sounds like you have turned the corner! How did your follow-up go?

Here is a link with directions of how to post pictures. Please do post them, you are right, it is so good for people to have an idea of what things may look like.

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So I am assuming you are in the middle of your most swollen phase. When you are feeling up to it, please let us know how you are doing.

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