How Old Do You Have to Be for a Chemical Peel?

Doctor Answers 4

There is no set age for a chemical peel

There are a wide variety of chemical peels from very mild to very severe. The punishment needs to fit the crime. For young people, the usual issue is acne. Mild, no down time, light peels help open pores and can reduce acne activity. Individuals who have had Accutane in the prior two years do not heal well and generally are not suitable candidates for this type of treatment.

Chemical peeling is generally not fully taught in residency programs like Plastic Surgery or even Dermatology. It is generally necessary for a surgeon to do a fellowship in cosmetic or aesthetic surgery that feature a high volume of chemical peels in order for that individual to establish themselves as a master chemical peeler.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Teens to the octagenarians

Because there are so many types of peels that can help so many problems, they can be done from teens (for acne and discoloration) to very elderly patients wanting rejuvenation, or removal of pre-cancers. Be sure to get the correct diagnosis from your dermatologist so the correct peel for you is chosen. Good luck.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Chemical peel is not a factor of age

Chemical peels are a broad category of treatments which range from very mild treatment with fruit acids up to aggressive resurfacing procedures with formulations. There have many indications and some can be performed in the teen years for acne such as salicylic acid or performed in the 70's with phenol, etc.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Too young for a chemical peel?

When considering the right time and age for a chemical peel, several factors will help answer the question, "How old do you have to be?".

1. What is the problem to be addressed? Acne, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles - each are addressed by different types of peels. Some can be used in teens, and others are reserved for 30s and beyond.

2. What type of peel is being considered? Salicylic acid is best for people in their teens and 20s for acne, but can also be used in the 30s and 40s for hyperpigmentation. Other light peels are safe at any age. Medium depth peels, such as Jessner's and TCA combination, should really be reserved for patients over 30-40 who want improvement in chronic sun damage, pre-cancerous lesions, and fine wrinkling.

3. Who is doing the peel? Be sure you're seeing a responsible physician for medical grade peels. Be careful of aestheticians who may try to oversell particular peels for problems that can't be corrected with peels. And don't ever order a medical grade peel over the internet for home use. You'll never be old enough do this.

I'm guessing by your username that you were born in 77, which makes you 32 or 33 years old. You're pretty safe for any properly applied peel at this point if that's the case.

Chad L. Prather, MD
Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon

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.