Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels Safe During Pregnancy?

Doctor Answers 8

Wait until after baby

I'd recommend to wait until after pregnancy/nursing to perform any elective cosmetic procedures.  Pigment production is increased in pregnancy (the mask of pregnancy or melasma) and any extra inflammation could rev up more pigment.  Also, certain chemicals used in peels, such as salicylic acid, are not recommended during pregnancy/nursing because of unknown effects on the baby.   

Aventura Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

21097 NE 27th Court
Aventura, FL 33180

MIcrodermabrasion and peels during pregnancy

I would not recommend chemical peels for pregnant women. Although systemic absorption of chemical peeling agents is low, it is not zero. Microdermabrasion itself is likely safe, but other topicals frequently used in association with microdermabrasion are not recommended, so you would probably be better off delaying microdermabrasion as well. Hypothetically if something were to go wrong with your pregnancy (related to a cosmetic procedure or not), you would not want to be in the position of second-guessing your decision.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

10672 Wexford Street
San Diego, CA 92131

Contrary Point of View regarding peels and pregnancy

I do not believe there is any risk to the pregnancy from either microdermabrasion or glycolic acid peels although I understand my colleagues cautionary reserve. My bigger concern is that the melanocytes in the skin are turned on in pregnancy (causing melasma - the so called mask of pregnancy) and therefore the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after the peel is a significant. If that occurs, you would be unable to use the standard bleaching agents to remedy the problem until after the pregnancy.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

555 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Not recommended during pregnancy

 These are both low risks procedures but in general a chemical peel is not recommended during a pregnancy.  Most of these chemicals have not been tested on pregnant individuals.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

3096 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Duluth, GA 30097

Don't have any unnecessary procedures during pregnancy.


Microdermabrasion and superficial chemical peels are low risk procedures, but why take a chance.  In our New York practice, we don't do anything elective on pregnant women, and we require a pregnancy test before any procedure.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

875 Park Ave at 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

Enjoy your natural glow of pregnancy.

You should not do a chemical peel while pregnant since the effect on your unborn is unknown.

Microdermabrasion is likely ok, but you typically get SPF and hydrocortisone after the treatment, so I'd hold off on both till the baby arrives.

Best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 336 reviews

1500 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052

Chemical peels and pregnancy

I would not recommend any type of chemical peel during pregnancy. Although the systemic absorption of the product is probably very low, it certainly is not worth the risk.  Many of these chemicals may be detrimental to the embryo.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

Safety of microdermabrasion and chemical peels during pregnancy

Microdermabrasion is a method of mechanical exfoliation and is safe during pregnancy. Chemical peels, on the other hand, are a generic class of medications with varying safety profiles during pregnancy. I would recommend to my patients to avoid chemical peels unless they have an established and documented safety profile during pregnancy. These questions should be addressed with your treating physician.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

804 7th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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.