Will a chemical peel clean out whiteheads and bumps under the skin?
Chemical Peel for Whiteheads and Bumps?
Doctor Answers 4
I tend to agree with Dr. Lupo's approach. These whiteheads can be very firm encapsulated cystic like structures that require evacuation using mechanical means using manual exttraction or microdermabrasion as recommended by Dr. Rand. Tazorac or Reticn may decrease the tendency for these recur.
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My suggestion: manual extractions
Closed comedones or "whiteheads" are often worsened by chemical peels and lasers. Instead, I recommend manual extraction followed by Tazorac or Retin A to prevent recurrences. See your dermatologist.
Salicylic Acid Peels
A salicylic acid peel would be helpful and safe to use. Salicyclic acid, very similar to the chemical found in aspirin, will break up the keratin and open up pores.
Pretreating with a retinoid makes the sal peel work more effectively. Salicylilc acid peels are by far the most common of the Beta peels.
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Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion
Depending on the strenght of the chemical peel, these treatments carry some small risk of scarring and hypopigmentation. Rather than taking on any risk, I would recommend that you try microdermabrasion first as its exfoliative effect should keep your pores from plugging.