Are deep peels dangerous?

Saturday, 7 February 2015

I want to have a deep peel done, how safe is it? And how long does it take to see results? I had one done with Skin Ceuticals and did not see a result and there was no peeling. I want to have the one where your whole face looks like it’s peeling off and then the new skin is flawless.


Dr Maureen Allem, skincare expert and founder of Skin Renewal, responds:

“The peel that I think you may be referring to is a TCA peel. It comes in various concentrations, and yes, it can be done to a very deep level which resurfaces the entire treated area. You need to remember that there are many, many different types of peels on the market and some are superficial, some are deep, some cause lots of peeling, some cause flaking and some of them show no signs of visible peeling at all. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve in the skin when doing a peel. So my first question to you would be, what are your concerns and what exactly are you trying to treat? TCA may not be the best solution for your particular concern. However, if it is a TCA peel you need, a few things will come into play for me to be able to answer your question:

1)       The concentration of the peel will determine how much downtime you have, how much you are going to peel and how severely you are going to peel.

2)       The number of layers of TCA you have will also determine the depth of the peel as well as the downtime you experience.

3)       In most cases (regardless of the concentration), your skin will first get dark and “pull very stiff”, and then approximately three days later you will start to peel. With TCA, this normally happens in very big pieces of skin as if you have had a very severe sunburn, and depending on the concentration and layers you have had, you could peel anything from 3 – 7 days (and sometimes even a bit longer).

4)       You results will become evident after the skin has completely peeled and healed (so anything from 2 – 3 weeks) after your peeling is done.

5)       Sometimes, depending on the degree of damage on your skin, you may require more than one treatment. It really all depends on what you are trying to treat. Just a few marks, or sun damage or lines and wrinkles or acne marks or scarring? These would all play a role in your results, the number of peels you would need, and which concentration of TCA is to be used for your particular concern.”

Would you like to get Dr Allem’s advice on a skincare issue? Ask your question here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
A chemical peel with no downtime?
Alpha hydroxy chemical peels
What can I do to get glowing skin?
Our top five skin-saving facials
The top anti-ageing procedures

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Tell your friends

    These peels are pretty pricey and I have heard so many horror stories about them.

    3 years ago •

  1. Nixxi

    People are so terrified of peels yet there isn’t much that can go wrong unless your therapist is totally clueless in that case she is not qualified to do so. I’ve had TCA peels, very strong ones and had very good results.

    3 years ago •

  1. Marnel Van Zyl

    OMW…just googled peels gone wrong…do not…I warm you!!! Nope 2 scared now and isn’t it expensive?

    3 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    I enjoy my monthly peel and enjoy the soft clear skin.

    4 years ago •

  1. Maryam Jacobs

    Thanks for the post. It helped a lot :)

    4 years ago •

  1. Sashnee Rambaly

    Chemical peels sounds so scary and having really sensitive skin is a nightmare. Are there any other options besides chemical peels?

    4 years ago •

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