I'm 23 yrs old African American female. I have active acne and suffer hyper pigmentation. Are Jessner Peels safe for me to use?

Doctor Answers 4

Chemical peels for pigmentation of the skin

Jessner peels are an excellent option for pigmentation. In our office, we combine Melapeels and Jessner peels with Melarase creams to help even out skin discoloration. 

Best, 
Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Jessner's Chemical Peel for Acne in African American Female

Thanks for your question,

this is a very common question and I assure you, you are not alone in wondering this. 

For one, chemical peels that are considered superficial or very superficial (including Jessner's) are safe for all skin types, assuming they are done by qualified health practitioners.  But, its important to remember, you may get some early peeling and may have some early discoloration of your skin but this should heal with no problem. Its not guaranteed that this will happen, but it is possible during the peeling process. 

As for peels and acne, two great steps for acne treatment (and recommended by many acne medical guidlines) is chemical peels, as well as retinol based products. If you have not looked into this, I'd also advise you to ask your physician about using topical retinol between peels. Together, you'll likely get excellent results. 

I hope this helps,

James P Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

In People Of Color, Hyperpigmenation From Acne Responds Well To Salicylic Acid Peels & At-Home Prescription Therapies

In people of color, any inflammatory process, including acne, can be the cause of very distressing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Suppresses the underlying inflammation, in this case the case, is therefore critically important to reducing the resultant pigmentary problems. As a rule, the sooner the problem is brought under control, the shorter will be the duration of the resultant pigmentary problems. This can best be accomplished via in-office acne surgery (cleaning out whiteheads and blackheads and injecting pimples, pustules and cysts) and the use of a series of superficial peels.

Jessner's solution is fine, although I prefer salicylic acid 30 percent (betahydroxy acid) peels The salicylic acid penetrates the clogged pores and works very well as a result for treating the follicular blockage that is characteristic of acne vulgaris. It is also excellent for helping to fade existing hyperpigmented blotches.

At-home treatments include the use of topical retinoids, such as adapalene cream or gel and low strength benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid constitute important parts of the treatment regimen for treating existing lesions and especially for reducing outbreaks. Finally, once adequate acne control is achieved, maintenance with azelaic acid products, such as Finacea, can serve the duel purpose of continuing to suppress acne and lighten post-inlammatory discolorations. 

Consultation and treatment by a board certified dermatologist is strongly advised.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You might also like...

Jessner's Peel for Acne and Hyperpigmentation

Jessner's peels are great additions to a total acne plan, which should include a topical regimen, and possibly oral antibiiotics or hormonal therapy.  We often treat patients such as you with Jessner's peels as our "go to peel" for acne and hyperpigmentation.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.