What is a Deep Peel?

I have seen some photos and reviews of a "deep peel," but I don't understand what it is. How is it different than a regular chemical or maybe laser peel?

Doctor Answers 4

Deep chemical peel


Chemical peels are generally classified as:

-superficial chemical peel

-medium chemical peel

-deep chemical peel

A deep chemical peel (such as a Gordon-Baker Phenol Peel) can produce dramatic results for patients with a lot of wrinkling. Although the results are often spectacular, there is a longer associated downtime and healing period. Usually a deep peel is done under general or sedation anesthesia. It should only be performed on patients with lighter skin tones to prevent uneven pigmentation.

If you decided to undergo a deep peel, ensure that your surgeon or dermatologist has a lot of experience with this type of peel

Best wishes,

Dr. Jamil Asaria

FACE Cosmetic Surgery

Toronto, Canada

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Deep Peel

As compared with microdermabrasion or light chemical peels, a MicroLaserPeel is considered a "deep peel." It is a deeper treatment that precisely removes the outermost layers of skin, and treats wrinkles, scars, acne scars, keratoses, and irregular pigmentation. The treatment uses topical anesthesia in the office, and typically is repeated 2 to 4 times, spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart. Healing takes 3 to 4 days and resembles a sunburn with redness beginning to fade by the third day, and can be covered with makeup on the fourth day. Patients experience smoother, healthier, more vibrant skin, with a significant immediate change in skin texture and tightness. A MicroLaserPeel is the perfect step between microdermabrasion and more aggressive full laser resurfacing.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Deep Chemical Peel

A deep peel is a type of chemical peel that penetrates through several layers of skin. Usually a chemical called phenol is used for deep peels. The effect is basically a second degree burn. Of all the different types of chemical peels, deep peels carry the highest risk of side effects and complications.

Laser treatments, by comparison are much safer. The causes of sun damage and premature aging  issues are rooted in the dermal layer of the skin. Lasers can make corrections in this layer without the need to remove skin from the top surface.

The Spectra laser gives results that are comparable to a chemical peel. Also lasers in the Fraxel family can also rejuvenate skin by helping it develop new collagen to correct the effects of sun damage. Speak to a board certified dermatologist about which laser would be most effective for you.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

A deep peel is on that penetrates more than a half millimeter below the skin surface.

This is generally as noted Baker Gordon phenol, but it is possible to peel to this depth with Phenol 89%.  The strongest TCA is generally limited to 35% because 50% or more can cause unpredictable scaring.  TCA 35% is considered a very light medium depth peel (some would argue a deep superficial peel).  The deepest of laser resurfacing are only medium depth (approximately 350 microns)  so that the strongest of the chemical peels are much more powerful than any laser procedure.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.