I Am Currently on Tretinoin Cream 0.05 for Three Days Now. How Long Should I Wait for a Chemical Peel and is It Safe?

Doctor Answers 5

Use of Tretinoin Prior to Peels

Our office protocol is ideally to use Tretinoin topically for 6 weeks or longer prior to a chemical peel. It is an independent antiaging and preventative of spotty pigmentation afterwards. Your doctor/medical aeshtetician will instruct you when to recontinue this product.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tretinoin use before chemical peels

Tretinoin is a terrific product with a variety of anti-aging benefits, as well as reducing pigmentation and evening out skin tone. I generally advise stopping tretinoin 1 week before and 1 week after a peel to minimize any risks.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Using Tretinoin Cream (RetinA) Before Having A Chemical Peel

The use of tretinoin cream (RetinA) is a great way to prep the skin for a chemical peel. Depending on what type of peel you are doing and what you are hoping to achieve via the chemical peel, I would recommend the use of tretinoin prior to the peel for anywhere from several weeks to several months.  Tretinoin is great for the skin in general as it improves acne, discoloration, pores, texture, tone and wrinkling.  It is important that you stop using the tretinoin in the period after the chemical peel when your skin is healing.  

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Chemical Peel and Tretinoin Use

I recommend stopping the use of tretinoin cream (in addition to acutane, benzoyl peroxide, acne cleansers, hydroquinone) at least one week prior to a chemical peel to reduce any risks.  In some cases, stopping more than one week prior may be appropriate.  It is important to remember to use sunscreen after the peel to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation.

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Chemical Peel and Tretinoin

Thank you for your question. If you have only been on for 3 days, your skin is still adjusting. I suggest increasing its use very slowly, staying on for at least 2 months, then evaluating if you still need the peel. if you decide to undergo the peel for more results, you should be off the tretinoin cream for 3-4 days or longer prior to a peel so you don't experience worsened side effects of redness, dryness, and irritation. It is important to be under the supervision of  a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with expertise in cosmetic procedure, peels, and treating various skin types. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.