Do Chemical Peels Help Acne?

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. Performed in-office, a chemical peel is an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off, hence the name chemical peel. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less dark and less wrinkled than it was prior to the peel.

Do chemical peels help acne?
According to Dr. J. Mark Jackson, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “A superficial peel, also known as a “lunchtime” peel, when done in a series, can improve mild to moderately severe cases of acne, and can be applied over the affected areas of the face or another body area where acne is a problem. Chemical peels rapidly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively. By keeping dead skin cells and excess oil from clogging the hair follicle, pore blockages and pimples can be reduced. More advanced forms of chemical peels can also be used to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.”

Chemical peels can treat the following additional skin concerns as well:

• Mild skin discoloration
• Rough skin
• Age spots
• Fine lines
• Wrinkles
• Freckles
• Precancerous areas
• Scars

Should I get a chemical peel?
The best candidates for chemical peels are generally light-haired and fair skinned people. Chemical peels do not work well on dark skinned patients.

If you have any of the following, it is also not recommended for you to get a chemical peel:
• Infection
• Active skin diseases
• Cut or broken skin
• Sunburns
• Nursing or pregnant
• Have taken Accutane in the last six months
• Dermatitis

What can I expect from a chemical peel?
While chemical peels don’t cause a great deal of pain, you will notice some stinging, redness, irritation and scaling, or superficial peeling, like you would experience with a sunburn. Your dermatologist will recommend a cream or lotion to apply regularly to the treated area. Depending on which peel you received healing time will vary from one day to three weeks. Your dermatologist will give you specific instructions on how to handle your skin care and may request a follow-up appointment if he or she thinks it is necessary. It is also important to remember that you will need 3-4 peels over a couple of months to really notice benefit and that these are not reimbursed by insurance, though prices are reasonable.

Interested in a Chemical Peel?
Many of our Forefront Dermatology locations and board-certified dermatologists offer chemical peels. Find a dermatologist near you today.