Comparative study of dermabrasion, phenol peel, and acetic acid peel

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1991 Summer;15(3):241-3. doi: 10.1007/BF02273866.


Six areas of the face and forehead of a 36-year-old white female presenting with a benign congenital blue nevus of the skin were treated by dermabrasion, bichloracetic acid, and the classic phenol peel. Comparative results at six months showed each of these methods to be approximately equal in the depth of penetration and in the quality of skin on healing. However, in these small test sites, dermabrasion appeared to remove pigment slightly more efficiently. Therefore, her forehead and cheeks were treated with dermabrasion and subsequently with chemical peel. An attempt was made to touch up the dermabraded areas with acetic acid. Full thickness burns occurred, which resulted in thick scarring that required many months to finally heal. We conclude that at least in the treatment of pigmented lesions, the modalities of phenol, acetic acid, and dermabrasion are approximately equal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chemexfoliation / methods*
  • Dermabrasion / methods*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dichloroacetic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Esthetics
  • Facial Neoplasms / congenital
  • Facial Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nevus, Pigmented / congenital
  • Nevus, Pigmented / surgery*
  • Phenol
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Phenols
  • Phenol
  • Dichloroacetic Acid