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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Complications of chemical face peeling as evaluated by a questionnaire.

Seven-hundred and ninety-four questionnaires were returned, and 74 percent of the plastic surgeons reported the use of phenol for chemical face peeling. They reported pigmentation difficulties as the most common local complication, with scarring being reported by 21 percent of the plastic surgeons. Of the plastic surgeons reporting, 87 percent did not encounter any systemic complications and 13 percent noted cardiac complications, with tachycardia being the most frequent. The surgeon must be reminded that phenol is a toxic material that is absorbed into the bloodstream and is capable of producing cardiac complications. Therefore, slow and cautious application of the chemical to the skin is advisable in order to prevent such complications. The use of a cardiac monitor is highly recommended as a precautionary diagnostic aid. This procedure has gained popularity and is used by 74 percent of present-day plastic surgeons. Despite the fact that complications can occur, the procedure is still valuable for certain conditions of the skin that cannot be managed successfully by standard surgical procedures. Chemical face peeling, although unsound pharmacologically, will produce beneficial results in indicated cases if it is used judicially.[1]


  1. Complications of chemical face peeling as evaluated by a questionnaire. Litton, C., Trinidad, G. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. (1981) [Pubmed]
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