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Loftus Plastic Surgery Center

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Phenol Peels

Deep Chemical Peels

When people speak of deep chemical peels, they are usually referring to phenol peels. Phenol peels offer some striking advantages, but also impose some striking disadvantages. Because the disadvantages are so striking, Dr. Loftus advocates against the use of Phenol Peels, except in rare circumstances.


A phenol chemical peel provides an overwhelming improvement in wrinkles. Results are unquestionably superior to those following other peels, laser, or dermabrasion. Just one treatment is required and results last decades. No special preparation is necessary prior to a deep chemical peel, and no special care is required to maintain your results afterward.
Phenol peels may improve superficial acne scars and nearly all dark discoloration.


The main disadvantage of phenol is permanent skin pallor. After your redness fades, your face will gradually turn ghostly white, which is irreversible, unnatural, and serves as a telltale sign that you have had this procedure performed. There is no way to smoothly transition from peeled to non-peeled skin, so a clear line of demarcation will exist. You may attempt to camouflage your appearance with make-up, but even heavy foundation may be inadequate. Because of the significant alteration in skin color, deep phenol peels are suited best to those with fair skin. They are not appropriate for women with olive, brown, or black skin, as they will cause permanent disfigurement. Other disadvantages include that your skin will never tan after a deep chemical peel. If you choose to tan the remainder of your body, an even greater discrepancy will exist between your previously peeled and non-peeled skin. Also, if you are heavily freckled and have a full-face deep peel all facial freckles will be removed, creating unnatural disharmony with your freckled neck and chest. Deep peels are therefore not recommended for those who are heavily freckled.

What to Expect if You Have a Phenol Peel

Anesthesia: General or heavy sedation.
Location of operation: Office or hospital.
Length of procedure: 15-60 minutes.
Length of stay: Outpatient (home same day).
Discomfort: Mild to severe. Anticipate 0-5 days of prescription pain medication.
Swelling: Moderate to severe and may temporarily interfere with eye opening. It will improve over 7-10 days.
The peeling process: Your face will be swollen, red, oozing, and crusted. Over several days, your face will become stiff, dark, and begin to flake. Within seven to ten days peeling and flaking will be complete, and you will be left with healthy, smooth, bright red skin. This sunburned appearance will take two to three months to improve. Thereafter, your skin will appear extremely pale.
Presentable in public: You will be presentable in 2 weeks with makeup.
Sun protection: SPF 15 or higher should be worn indefinitely.
Final result: Will be seen after your redness fades. Expect 2-3 months.


Phenol peels have the most profound effect on wrinkles and are used successfully in properly chosen patients. Women with pale skin who have profound sun damage gain dramatic improvement with phenol peels and are commonly pleased with their results. Because their change in appearance is overwhelming and because bleaching of their skin is not obvious against their pale complexion, these women are satisfied. Women with less sun damage and those with medium or dark complexions are likely to be highly dissatisfied with the results of a phenol peel due to permanent pallor. Because of lengthy recovery and permanent pallor, phenol chemical peels are one of the least commonly employed treatments for wrinkled and sun damaged skin.

Dr. Loftus by herself

About Dr. Loftus

Dr. Loftus is a female plastic surgeon who is considered a national authority on plastic surgery, having appeared on numerous talk shows as an expert. Her book has become a best-selling book on plastic surgery and has earned her the reputation as a vocal advocate of patient safety, satisfaction, and education in plastic surgery. No wonder her patients have such great things to say about her…
Dr. Loftus and her staff
My results are amazing - Dr. Loftus is amazing!
My friends can't believe how natural I look!
I had no pain after surgery and recovery was so easy.
The entire experience was fabulous!
I am a nurse who has worked with many doctors, Dr. Loftus is the best!
The care was exceptional and results are incredible!
My results are better than I ever imagined!
Dr. Loftus is a rare surgeon: highly skilled, personable and compassionate!
My experience from start to finish was completely extraordinary!
Awesome results from a skilled and caring doctor.
I love love love Dr. Loftus and everyone in the office!
I've never felt so comfortable and understood in a doctor's office.
I felt so comfortable and barely had any pain at all.
I never knew I could look this good! Thank you Dr. Loftus!!!
Never met such a warm and caring staff anywhere else.
If only every doctor could be like Dr. Loftus, how very fortunate we would be.

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TV Appearances of Dr. Loftus

Interview with Local12 WKRC

Dr. Loftus
on Local12 WKRC

Interview with The View

Dr. Loftus
on The View

Interview with The Today Show

Dr. Loftus
on The Today Show

Interview with MSNBC

Dr. Loftus

Interview with Later Today

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Interview with Later Today

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Interview with CNN

Dr. Loftus
on CNN

Cincinnati: The Christ Hospital2139 Auburn Avenue, Suite 201
Cincinnati, OH 45219
(513) 793-4000
5 minutes from downtown Cincinnati,
At the Christ Medical Office Building

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Northern Kentucky1881 Dixie Highway, Suite 300
Fort Wright, KY 41011
3 minutes from downtown Cincinnati &
visible from I-71/75

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