Chemical Peel for Acne Scars

I've got scars due to pimples but not too much. I want permanent solution to get rid of the scars. Is chemical peel a permanent solution? If not, what are treatments are available without any side effects?

Doctor Answers 20

Peels for Scars

Chemicals peels can be a permanent solution if medium to strong peels are performed. They cause the skin to exfoliate and produce fresh new skin cells. There are different peels of varying strengths based on the results that you want. Usually a series of peels are needed and gradual improvement is noted. Remember, mild or even weaker moderate peels are often not sufficient scarring and are better for skin texture, tone, or pigment changes.
Other options for treating scars include: microdermabrasion, microneedling, subcision, and laser resurfacing. Consult with a board certified dermatologist who treats acne scarring on what procedure would work best with your needs.

Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Chemical Peel for Acne Scars

Dear Shahzad, 

When treating acne scarring it is often necessary to build a treatment regimen that incorporates several modalities to help lessen the appearance of acne scars.  First, It is of utmost importance that you have a skin care regimen built to maintain the health of your skin that will aid in reducing future breakouts(since this is the root cause of the scarring). A series of chemical peels will offer some correction, but incorporating collagen induction therapy(microneedling) and/or laser resurfacing into the clinical treatment plan will promote an optimal result. Unfortunately, there is no permanent solution when it comes to skin. However, maintenance will be key to retaining the correction you achieve. 

Acne scars: chemical peel , fractional

Hi There and thank you for your inquiry!

Chemical peels like salicylic acid can help to clear any active acne and help to lighten any post inflammatory pigmentation.
There will be slight redness, tightness and peeling which usually last 5-7 days depending on the depth of the peel being used.

Another option to treat acne scars is laser resurfacing or non-ablative fractional laser, in which this will treat any textural issues, such as icepick or boxcar acne scars (depressed scars). There is minimal downtime with fractional, usually 2-3 days of redness and 6-8 treatments are usually required to improve the appearance of acne scars.

Hope this has helped!

Mansour Bendago, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Acne Scars

Chemical peels are good treatments for acne scarring. Peels such as salicylic acid and TCA can help clear existing acne and lighten any hyperpigmentation due to scarring. Side effects are minimal and temporary. Things that people normally experience after a peel are redness, tightness, and sloughing of the skin. Peeling of the skin usually lasts for 2-5 days, depending on the person and the depth of the peel.

Additionally, treating your skin with a pre- and post-peel home care regimen will enhance your results from the peel. Multiple peels may be needed and not all peels are suitable for all skin types. It is best to be evaluated by your skincare professional to better assess your needs and goals.

Peel might be one of the options

A series of clinical strength peels (on average, 3-6 peels) may help to reduce scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, a permanent solution does not exist. The best approach is to take control of the situation with corrective products, peels, Acleara, etc. When your acne becomes well managed, consider alternating with microneedling treatments or Fraxel to further improve texture and reduce scarring.

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

Chemical peels can be a permanent solution depending on the severity of the scarring and the strength of the peel.  Chemical peels can also be combined with laser and microneedling treatments to improve results as well.  We've also had a lot of great results with microneedling treatments, such as SkinPen, to permanently remove acne scars.  Best of luck and I hope this helps!

Chemical Peels and Acne Scars

Depending on the level of the acne scars, chemical peels, micro needling, RF laser such as eMatrix, and Fraxel Laser are all excellent treatments.  Special care must be taken to have the treatment tailored to your skin type and prescribe the correct topical treatments in combination with your medical procedures.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in acne scars for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

One can surely use chemical peels

Thanks for your question and know that there are many treatment options for acne scars that are useful
in 2015. One can surely use chemical peels, but for many the more superficial peels are not always the
best here; board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons usually recommend that medium depth
peels are used here. These need to be done by very skilled providers and sometimes, several peels are
needed to give the optimum results.
In addition, there are a variety of lasers and energy based fractional treatments that can be used here.
The non-ablative fractional lasers will help here, and will require a series of treatments, with minimal
downtime to give some very nice results. Four to six treatments over 4-6 months is usually required and
many of the scars will improve. The ablative fractional lasers work faster, but have more downtime.
Sometimes more than one treatment is needed with your kind of scarring. There are many kinds of
ablative fractional lasers – we use mainly the Lumenis UltraPulse or AcuPulse, the Ellman Cortex, and the
Syneron Core. We also have the sublative RF fractional devices, the Syneron eMatrix and the Venus Viva
that has shown great results in treating acne scars. We did a lot of the FDA work with the eMatrix and use
it regularly in our clinic. The new Venus Viva is showing similar results. And now there are RF
microneedling devices, such as the EndyMed Intensif, and this also works well with acne scars.
In addition, we recently have seen the approval of the first long-term filler for acne scars – this is
called BellaFill. You need to see which procedure is best for you.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Chemical peels and ematrix for acne scars

Our office specializes in chemical peels and acne scars. I would utilize a combination of the fractional co2, ematrix sublative laser, and chemical peels to improve your acne scars.


Dr. Karamanoukian

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Peels for acne scars

Peels can help with scars if they're not too severe. Pockmarks can be corrected with fillers (temporary) and laser technologies can also help remodel the skin. You should see a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatolgist for an assessment to see what would work for you, because there are many, many options available.

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.