Can Chemical Peels Lighten Asian Skin and Complexion?

I am an Asian with medium complexion that looks tan with breakouts and post-acne scars. Can chemical peels help me lighten my complexion and solve the problem of breakout? if yes, which chemical peel and how many will i need?

Doctor Answers 4

Chemicals peels and Asian skin

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Chemical peel is an art, so results will depend on the experience of who is performing it. 

However; there are some generalities to chemical peels:

1. The stronger the peel the deeper it penetrates and the higher the risk of loosing pigment

2. The opposite is true of lighter peels.

3. The darker the skin the higher the chance of loosing pigment with deeper peels.


 best of luck


Dr Siegel

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Chemical peels can work on Asian Skin

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Chemical peels may not lighten the color of the skin, but will help with discoloration and if you use a salicylic acid (30%) peel, can definitely help with acne breakouts.  The key is to find a board certified physician who is used to treating Asian skin and using chemical peels. Stronger peels may lead to hyperpigmentation so make sure you choose your doctor carefully.

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

I like Theraplex peels for this

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There are many peels out there, and most are safe in an expert's hands, so first find a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss your options. That said, I like Theraplex peels in ethnic skin, and for acne (both scars and active lesions). This salicylic acid peel is gentle but effective and much less likely to cause unwanted inflammation. It is really my favorite peel in all skin types with active acne, but for ethnic skin, is the safest too.

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

TCA peels

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TCA (trichloracetic acid) peels performed by an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon may help with lightening unwanted pigmentation. These peels will not "solve" breakouts but will just help with pigmentation and fine lines. The extent of your pigmentation , location will help the physician advise you on how many peels and strength of the peel.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic 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.