Should I Get a Chemical Peel at 14?

I'm 14 years old and I recently went for a consultation about my acne, and a series of 5 chemical peels was recommended to clear it up along with my acne scars and discoloration. My skin is extremely sensitive. Is a chemical peel a bad idea?

Doctor Answers 3

Chemical Peel for Acne and Acne Scars

Thank you for your question. A chemical peel in the right hands can be very effective or very dangerous. But you should be cautious if you have very sensitive skin. you should also make sure you are on a good medical therapy to treat your acne for best results.  You will need the supervision of a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with expertise in cosmetic procedures and chemical peels who can evaluate your skin, direct your care, and provide low risk alternatives, which will reduce risk and maximize effectiveness.   I hope this helps.

Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Chemical peels at 14

Chemical peels can certainly help acne at any age, but you should be treated by a board certified dermatologist who can give you prescription medication if needed and decide which peel would be best for you.  A salicylic acid peel helps clean out pores and causes some peeling.  You must avoid the sun afterwards.  Another popular treatment is Isolaz photopneumatic therapy which involves a vacuum that cleans out pores and a broadband light that helps control bacteria and oil production.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Is chemical peel safe at age 14?

Short answer....NO.

The true answer to this question is complicated because there are some topical "peels" that help exfoliate and cleanse the skin opening up the pores and extracting some of the oily "sebum" that builds up under the skin.  These type of "spa-like" peels may be okay and won't hurt anything but are probably unnecessary for you and a waste of money.  True chemical peels are "deep-peels" and should not be performed at your age.

Instead, save money and treat your acne with several important steps: (To make the biggest difference this strict regimen should be followed and continues once acne clears up.)


1. Wash your face at least three times daily with a hypoallergenic mild facial cleanser

2. Use a gentle exfoliator like a Clarsonic Brush or something similar.

3. Apply a topical retinoid gel (like Differin or Retin-A) at night after cleaning and exfoliating your skin.

4. And very important to start on an oral antibiotic (usually Doxycyline) until the skin clears up.


This will save you time and money. Good luck.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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.