How long does the actual procedure of the chemical peel take? Do I need to take some sort of pain medication during the actual peel?
There are many types of chemical peels that vary in the depth of penetration into the skin. A superficial peel doesn’t require any type of pain medication and is well tolerated in an office or spa setting. The actual peel solution application can take 10-15 minutes. A deeper peel, such as a Phenol based peel usually needs to be performed in a monitored setting with sedation and numbing medications. I also will typically perform a nerve block with numbing medication for better patient comfort during and after the procedure. The application of a full face chemical peel can take around one hour, as it is applied to the face in sections, giving time for the body to clear the phenol solution that is absorbed. Only a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon with experience in chemical peels should be applying a medium to deep chemical peel. Pain medication is often needed only for a day or so after a deep chemical peel.
-Dr. Jessica Kulak