Deep Chemical Peels with Croton Oil in Sydney – Post procedure recovery


After a deep chemical peel with croton oil by Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Gavin Sandercoe, patients will proceed through several stages of healing.


The first phase of recovery is the first week to week and a half. During this stage the skin gradually re-epithelialises (heals). During this stage, the skin is moist and oozy. It is important to keep the skin moist to prevent drying and crusting – both of which can result in slower healing. Like all scabs on your body, it is important not to pick at any crusting so that the skin heals as quickly as possible.


During this phase, patients are encouraged to see our staff as often as required. We will provide you with an ointment to keep your skin healing as quickly as possible, and any other medications that might be required for your comfort.


You can shower after a few days, but keep the direct stream of water off the healing facial skin. A light trickle of water coming off your head is fine. During this week, the skin will peel off and heal from underneath. Gentle cleansing with a very soft washer will help remove loose skin fragments, but anything that is firmly attached should be left alone until it is ready to fragment off of its own accord.


As the skin becomes more robust and dries up (day 7-10), it is reasonable to return to some social activities with friends or colleagues that are aware of your recent procedure. Choices of moisturisers and foundation need to be made with the primary aim of exposing the skin to the least possible chemicals and inflammation. Fragrance free is a good start, and mineral based foundations and make up are generally less irritating to healing skin.


Once the facial skin has healed & dried up, the second phase of recovery begins. This is characterised by the erythema (redness) of the deeper layers of skin multiplying and creating collagen to thicken up. This redness can last 8-12 weeks, but is easily disguised with mineral foundation. The occasional patient can become intensely red for a week or two, and this usually settles fairly quickly.


During the healing phases, it is very important to be vigilant about sun avoidance as the damaged skin pigment cells (melanocytes) can be either switched into overdrive (hyperpigmentation) or turned off (hypopigmentation). Sunscreens that work through physical blockade of UV light, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, should be used rather than regular sunscreen that works through chemical blockade. If you notice patches of your face that appear to be over or under pigmenting during your healing phase, we want you to inform us as early as possible so that we can begin treatment options to help even out the pigment.


Your skin should be completely healed and back to normal colouration within 2-3 months of your deep chemical peel with Croton oil by Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Gavin Sandercoe. The skin will continue to turn over and thicken up with new collagen for several months after the last of the redness disappears, so we extend our follow up for a total of 6 months.



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