Can I Get a Chemical Peel Before Accutane?

I am 29-years-old and I have melasma on my cheeks and upper lip and I absolutley hate it, especially on my upper lip. I also am suffering from acne and would like to try Accutane. I know Accutane is usually a six month treatment and I would have to wait quite a while after for a chemical peel. My question is can I get a chemical peel to help the melasma before I start the Accutane, and if so how long between the two?

Doctor Answers 3

Chemical Peels and Accutane

Superficial Peeling agents, when not overly aggressive, are fine to use during Isotretinoin (Accutane) treatment-- my preferred or your condition being Jessner's Solution or Salicylic Acid.  Make sure the peels are performed by in a Board Certified Physicians office by an experienced practitioner.

Deeper peeling with medium depth peeling agents-- combination peels, often using TCA or phenol- should be allowed to fully heal prior to starting Isotretinoin, normally about 2 weeks.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Chemical peel for melasma before Accutane

One of the best peels for melasma is the Vi Peel which has a small amount of phenol and ingredient that is very helpful for treating unwanted dark marks.  Let your skin recover for at least 2 weeks before starting isotretioin (Accutane).  It would be best to get the peel in a board-certified dermatologist's office if you are considering getting Accutane after.  Good luck!

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews


Yes- try a few very light Glycolic peels. I usually start my patients with %20, then $25%, %30 and maybe even %50 glycolic peels. Please do it in a doctors office. In addition you should use SPF 30 and a bleaching cream (2% Hydroquinone). These treatments are safe even while on Accutane.

A. David Rahimi, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

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