Chemical Peel for Whiteheads and Bumps?

Will a chemical peel clean out whiteheads and bumps under the skin?


Doctor Answers 4

Recurring whiteheads

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I tend to agree with Dr. Lupo's approach. These whiteheads can be very firm encapsulated cystic like structures that require evacuation using mechanical means using manual exttraction or microdermabrasion as recommended by Dr. Rand. Tazorac or Reticn may decrease the tendency for these recur.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

My suggestion: manual extractions

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Closed comedones or "whiteheads" are often worsened by chemical peels and lasers. Instead, I recommend manual extraction followed by Tazorac or Retin A to prevent recurrences. See your dermatologist.

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

Salicylic Acid Peels

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A salicylic acid peel would be helpful and safe to use. Salicyclic acid, very similar to the chemical found in aspirin, will break up the keratin and open up pores.

Pretreating with a retinoid makes the sal peel work more effectively. Salicylilc acid peels are by far the most common of the Beta peels.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion

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Depending on the strenght of the chemical peel, these treatments carry some small risk of scarring and hypopigmentation.  Rather than taking on any risk, I would recommend that you try microdermabrasion first as its exfoliative effect should keep your pores from plugging. 

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.