Cosmetic Surgery, March 1991 - Chemical Peel


While many transwomen have reported good results using thermolysis to remove hair, proper equipment, sufficient training and experience are required to help minimize regrowth and, more importantly, prevent skin damage. The "thermo" in thermolysis refers to the heat it uses to roast the hair root and papilla, which can badly damage the skin if done wrong. By the time I switched to multiple-needle galvanic my face already had the appearance of a navel orange that had fallen off a farm truck. My skin had large unsightly pores and tiny patches of scar tissue near the right side of my mouth. So in March of 1991 I again raided my sex reassignment surgery fund and called Dr. Lawrence Foster (who did my boobs) to schedule a phenol chemical peel. Phenol is the most invasive chemical peel and takes the longest to heal.

Nothing Dr. Foster said could have prepared me for the recovery from a phenol peel. Within a few days my face was covered with a scabby crust that oozed blood and sticky sebaceous fluid for over a week. Post-op instructions forbade me to go into the sun for six months and not even with sunscreen those first few weeks, but as you can see from the below photos I had plenty of reason not to leave my room for awhile. I took two weeks sick time from work, played Steve Vai's Flexable album over and over, and worked on the first draft of my autobiography until 4:00 AM every night. I had to keep it coated with Polysporin until all the scabbing was gone (ten days), plus it was covered with surgical plastic wrap the first 48 hours after surgery. However the results were completely worth it! I easily lost ten years off my face.
48 hours
4 days
8 days
six weeks and
lots of Panstik

Cosmetic Surgery, June 1990