At Home Chemical Peel for Dark Skin?

I have OCD and I pick at my skin, causing major scars all over my body. I want to try an at-home chemical peel, but have been told that because I have dark skin, those may not be safe. Any advice? Please help!

Doctor Answers 3

Chemical Peels can darken dark skin types

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Chemical Peels (TCA, trichloroacetic acid, Jessners, salicylic, retinoic, lactic acid, phenol, rescorcinal) can cause dark skin to darken even more. Chemical peels and any surface type of surgery / procedures including dermabrasion, peels, and laser resurfacing is risky with dark skin. They can cause hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation both of which can be very noticeable. You can white splotches like vitiligo and dark patches with any of the above procedures. Having someone with experience is a very good idea. There are many peels that you can use in someone with dark skin. Some have even used Active FX CO2 resurfacing on type 4 and 5 skin.

Thanks for reading!

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Chemical Peels for Darker Skin Types

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have darker skin, you should be careful with any resurfacing treatment you use. Chemical peels can be the safest but they are really best when delivered by someone who understands darker skin and treats these patients on a regular bases. The risk is hyperpigmentation, which means darkening the skin. Even though this is often temporary, it can be hard on patients. There are a variety of excellent chemical peel options for darker skin types; however, we precondition the skin for 8 weeks prior to doing a peel in order to improve the peel outcome and decrease the risk of hyperpigmentation.

I would not recommend using at home treatments unless it was prescribed by a doctor who is experienced and feels comfortable with the treatment they are offering.

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Get professional help on the chemical peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


If  you have dark skin, chemical peels can be tricky. You should get some professional help with this so you'll get the best possible results.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic 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.