Chemical Peel - Safe for Sensitive Skin?

I have really sensitive skin. I flip my hair over to brush it and come back up and its beet red. It gets really red and agitated when I move my face or smile. The red hyperpigmentation makes it worse. What type of chemical peel, if any, would safely give me that smooth scar free complexion I desire?

Doctor Answers 6

People with sensitive skin

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Patients with "sensitive skin" should go to a board certified dermatologist for an evaluation of cause and treament. Also, at that time, rejuvenation procedures such as peels may be discussed and the sensitivity issue should be considered when the dermatologist makes recommendations concerning any type of rejuvenation procedure.

West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

People with sensitive skin often do quite well after chemical peeling.

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People with sensitive skin often do quite well after chemical peeling. The key to good results is to see a dermatologist who has done thousands of peels and has seen every type of skin and can customize the treatment to the patient. By the way avoid any peel which a has fancy name attached. These commercial kits are usually sold to doctors with very little peeling experience.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Chemical Peel - Safe for Sensitive Skin?

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From your description I would make sure I have at least 2-3 weeks to recover from a peel if you stay red longer; otherwise I wouldn't bother with it.


Ramtin Kassir, MD

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Skin sensitivity may result from another skin condition

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Sensitive skin means different things. There can be an underlying dermatologic condition that is giving you the symptoms you are describing. While the benefits chemical peels are certainly attractive, you should always check with your dermatologist to help individualize a skin care treatment and regimine for you. Having sensitive skin does not preclude you from all peels, but certain specific peels might cause a problem.

Adam J. Mamelak, MD
Austin Dermatologic Surgeon

WIth all due respect to Dr. Resnik, skin sensitivity is a concern.

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Dear Vanity

In my experience, yes skin sensitivity is a concern in dealing with skin rejuvenation.  It has a bearing on how you heal and how you respond to skin preparation prior to a chemical peel.  I would be very careful it what you do and with whom you choose to help you with this type of work.  Well-meaning individuals may be very surprised with how your skin reacts even after you tell them that your skin is unusually sensitive.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Peels and sensitive skin

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Sensitive skin, in and of itself, does not preclude chemical peeling or other procedures. However, an evaluation with your dermatologist for causative reasons, such as rosacea or hives, would be a valuable thing to do before you embark on a rejuvenation regimen. There may be things you can do to reduce your skin's sensitivity, allowing you to proceed with confidence.

Barry Resnik, MD
Miami Dermatologist

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.