Are 50% Glycolic Peels Safe for Black Skin? Any Risks? (photo)

I'm a black male in my early thirties who has had four weekly courses of 20% salicylic peels. The results have been fresher more radiant looking skin. The purpose is to obtain youthful even toned skin. I'm considering a course of 50% glycolic peels. I'm wondering what the potential risks are with type IV skin (dark chocolate complexion). With the 20% salicylic peels there is noticeable flaking and peeling for a few days. Can I expect more or less of this with the 50% glycolic peel?

My aim is to have a clear even toned blemish free complexion. I've had decent results using 20% salicylic acid peels and have had four done so far on a weekly basis. The results have been good so far.  Being black male I'm wondering what the risks of hyper/hypo pigmentation are. I don't want to induce any light or dark patches on my face.

Doctor Answers 1

Glycolic Peels and Dark Skin

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I routinely perform glycolic 50% and 70% peels on dark skin (types 4 -6), but always conservatively and for different lengths of time and at different time intervals depending on the skin type, their history, and the area(s) of concern being targeted.  The strength of a peel often has to do with how it is applied, how long it is left on the skin and the skin type it is being applied to. Generally speaking, a 50% or 70% glycolic  peel is stronger than a 20% salicylic acid peel and so with a stronger peel come increased risks of discoloration, especially in the hands of someone not properly trained.  However, that being said, I think you can definitely get more improvement of your tone and blemishes with glycolic peels as long as whoever is applying it for you does so in a very conservative fashion.  I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist experienced in chemical peeling. 

Boca Raton Dermatologist
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