Which Chemical Peels Are Best for Acne?

I have mild acne breakouts, and my girlfriend says acne is best treated with TCA chemcial peels. I would like to know whether peels are recommended over other acne treatments, and which peels would be helpful for acne and acne scars.

Doctor Answers 2

TCA Peels Can Improve Acne and Acne Scars: TCA 15% and 25% Peels

Acne is caused by a variety of causes, including:

  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Clogged Pores

TCA peels can exfoliate the skin and minimize clogged pores, but they will do little to change hormone levels or affect the stress and genetic causes of acne. You may consider speaking to an experienced skin expert to assess your acne and recommend a medical program to improve your skin. This should be done by a physician who is experienced in the medical management of acne.

TCA peels, however, can exfoliate the skin and unclog damaged pores. Higher strength TCA can also improve acne scars and minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation and contour defects.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It depends.


If you are looking to control the acne then use low strength peels (glycolic or salicylic acids) and have them frequently. TCA is pretty strong. I would use this for scar reduction in long term acne patients maybe but not to get acne in control.

Strong peels can encourage an acne exacerbation. That is the last thing you want.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.