Are Chemical Peels Worth It?

I want to know if getting a chemical peel would be a good idea for me. I'm 22 years old and have adult acne. I have tried everything it just makes me break out more. I don't really have bad acne but really bad scars from breaking out. I also have sensitive and oily skin. I heard chemical peels are affordable and an easy way to fix the problem. How do they work? Will it break me out more.

Doctor Answers 5

Chemical Peels- Definitely worth it!

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Chemical peels safely remove or exfoliate the top layer of dead skin, allowing new, more youthful, healthy skin to show through. While the skin typically sheds old, dull dead skin cells every 28 days, this process slows down with prolonged sun exposure and aging.
Chemical peels cause this natural cell turnover process to speed up, helping to stimulate the growth of new collagen—the skin-firming protein that acts like a scaffold for the skin. The speed or depth of cell turnover is determined by the concentration of the peel and the amount of time it’s left on skin.
Chemical peels can be done at different depths—light, medium, or deep—depending on your desired results. Deeper chemical peels produce more-dramatic results, but also involve longer recovery times.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Peels for acne

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Chemical peels are great for acne, and okay for scars depending on how severe they are. First, resolve the acne, then move on to fixing the scars. I suggest doing the peels for acne, then a combination of treatments for scarring, including fillers for deep pockmarks.

Scarring acne? You need to see a dermatologist

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If you indeed get scarring acne, it would be best if you were to be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.  Although chemical peels make a great addtion to acne and acne scar treatment, they will unlikely not be enough to get your acne under control.  It sounds like you may need prescription strength medicine.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist

Control versus scar reduction.

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Acne control can be aided by light chemical peels. Just be sure you have not had Accutane recently.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

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Chemical peels fall into the general category of FACIAL RESURFACING which include all modalities which remove certain partial thicknesses of the skin in the hope that pigmentation, fine wrinkles and superficially damaged skin will be thereby removed and the uncovered skin below would be smoother and more attractive.

Very few things in life are both cheap (or in PC terms affordable) and good and this is NO exception. Since acne scars extend deeper into the skin you would require DEEPER treatments which would need to be repeated several times - EFFECTIVE treatments will not be cheap.

Since chemical peels depend on how the skin was prepared, on the acid used, its concentration and the time it is allowed to burn the skin before it is neutralized (or with TCA before in neutralizes itself), the results are VERY operator dependent. For this reason, resurfacing lasers have increasingly taken over larger portions of cases such as yours.

I would advise you to seek out several Board certified Plastic surgeons or Dermatologists and see what each says before you do anything. Listen to what is not being said as much as to what is said. Then, make up your mind.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.