Will a Chemical Peel Be Safe for my Skin to Get Rid of Severe Acne Scars? (photo)

Whatever advice I get I would really appreciate.

Doctor Answers 2

Chemical Peels in patients with darker skin color

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 Generally speaking deep chemical peels can improve acne scarring. The improvement is usually not nearly as impressive as a laser treatment. Peels "peel" away the skin evenly. Although the skin looks fresher and discolorations due to the sun will disappear the scars are still there! Lasers are more effective in treating the uneven scarring of Acne marks. Lasers also cause more tightening of the skin. Now to make it more complicated. It is exceedingly difficult to do a deep peel in an African American or Hispanic or Asian patient. If I try to go deep enough to remove the scars I will end up with light spots (hypo-pigmentation) and or additional scarring. Jessner peels and light %10-%20 percent TCA peels are relatively safe in darker skin. I would still suggest that you chose an experienced Dermatologist. Sorry for the long answer but you are asking a very challenging question. Yours Dr. David R.

Will a Chemical Peel Be Safe for my Skin to Get Rid of Severe Acne Scars?

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This will be a challenge regardless of how you choose to approach the problem.

To improve acne scars, you need a fairly deep peel or laser resurfacing and that will be associated with complications:

  1. Scarring, especially if you are prone to that.
  2. Hypertrophic scaring which will be a challenge to treat.
  3. Uneven darker pigmentation of your skin- hyperpigmentation
  4. Lighter patchy discoloration – Hypopigmentation
  5. Uneven complexion

Of all of the of the associated complications, the hypopigmentation is the most feared one because there is nothing you can do to achieve reasonable improvement. Hypopigmentation is  visible in people with your complexion.

The key is to stay conservative and to get multiple superficial treatment, e.g. 10-15% TCA peels, once every week for 5-6 week,  superficial Glycolic Acid peels or Tretinoin peels.

Make sure that your doctor has experience with treating people with your complexion.


David Evdokimow



David Evdokimow, MD
Morristown 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.