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Does Salicylic Acid Work to Lighten Dark Spots?

After Electrocautery treatments I got dark spots on my face. I tried using 4% Hydroquinone on them but it didn't work. Is Salicylic Acid good? Thank You.

Doctor Answers (6)

Glycolic Acid Peel Better for PIH

+2

While a salicylic acid peel is better for acne, since it scoops the keratin out of the follicle, glycolic acid is a superior peeling agent for pigmentation.

I would also recommend adding a retinoid to your hydroquinone. Oftentimes, increasing the strength to 6% will give a significantly better improvement than 4%. One of my dermatology friends even recommends 10%. I am leery of this strength however, since it can cause irritation.

Other agents such as azelaic acid, arbutin, and kogic acid might also be tried.


Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Salacylic acid for dark spots

+2

SA is a good choice for superficial skin issues such as sun spots and acne and skin texture. Used in combination with other treatments it can he helpful for other dark spots. The most likely issue you have is what is called postinflammatory hyperpigmentation form the cautery and this would be better treated by bleaching creams (prescription strength). Good luck and save the money on the peels and buy the cream.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Salicylic Acid to Lighten Dark Spots

+1
Salicylic acid is an effective lightening agent, but most effective when used in combination with other lightening products.

It is best used as an adjutant therapy with:
  • Sunscreen
  • Laser
  • Hydroquinone
  • Retinoids
  • Other topical alpha or beta hydroxy acid therapies

Brian Feinstein, DO
Delray Beach Dermatologist

Not really.

+1

Hello,

Salicylic Acid peels are more like skin treatments or aids to other peeling agents. They work well to dry the skin up for acne control when used alone, but not for pigment or wrinkles.

 

Best Regards,

 

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Salicylic acid chemical peel for pigmentation

+1

In my practice, I use a salicylic acid and TCA peel that works well with melasma and pigmentation.  You may be a candidate for this peel if you have non-hormonal pigmentation. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Hyperpigmentation and sal peel

+1

This is a mild peel, and when used in combination with bleaching agents an be effective. More than one treatment may be needed to see the desired results however.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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