What is the Best Peel for Dark Spots? (photo)

I am on a skin regimen that involves using a salicylic wash, aczone and moisturizer with spf of 30 in the morning and tazorac and moisturizer at night. Even though this has helped with my acne tremendously (i still break out from time to time but it's the best my face has been in a long time) it has done nothing for my dark spots. I've had a glycol acid peel done twice but i see no improvement I was wondering what type of peel would be best to treat my dark spots, or any other type of treatments?

Doctor Answers 3

Vi Peel one of the best for dark spots

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In my many years of experience doing chemical peels on people with dark skin, I've found the Vi Peel to be one of the best for dark spots.  Other peels will also treat the dark spots, it just takes longer.  I've been suprised at times at who fast some spots go away using the Vi peel.  It is likely because the Vi Peel contains small amounts of phenol which is particularly helpful for skin lightening.

New York Dermatologist

Best peels for pigmentation

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Your acne skin care regimen appears to be appropriate for your comedonal acne.   Really rely on the Tazorac at bedtime and the Salicylic Wash in the morning.  The pigment you are demonstrating is mostly postinflammatory hyperpigmentation occuring in prior areas where acne became inflamed pimples, so keeping the pimple count down is of prime importance.  You might want to look into the LaRoche Posay skin care products for acne prone skin for additional home care treatments.


Now as far as the peels, I do not recommend glycolic peels for people who already are dealing with pigment issues, as glycolics in general just make the skin puffy and red and can feed the pigmentation problem.  I recommend DermaSweep Microdermabrasions using salicylic acid or HQ infusions,  Theraplex Salicylic Peels, VI Peels or The Perfect Peel, all of these being designed to treat your skin tones, acne prone skin and pigmentation issues.   I listed them in the therapeutic order I usually recommend to patients.  

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Try the Vi peel

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I'm personally a big fan of the Vi peel, which a medium depth peel safe to use in darker skin types in the right hands.  It uses a combination of chemicals that penetrate deeper within the skin for a more aggressive peel, thus providing quicker results than the more superficial glycolic acid peels.  Prescription bleaching creams (hydroquinone) can also help fade the pigmentation more rapidly, and are often used for a few weeks prior to the peel to help prevent further darkening of the skin as it heals from the procedure.

Kimberly Cayce, MD
Columbia 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.