Does Chemical Peel After Laser Resurfacing Help?

I recently had Deep FX/Active FX to reduce scars. Is it helpful to get a peel after laser resurfacing? If so, how soon after and what type of peel?

Doctor Answers 4

Chemical peel after laser resurfacing

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New collagen will continue to form 3 to 6 months after ablative laser resurfacing.  To maintain the effects of the laser treatment, you should have light chemical peels or microdermabrasion to keep stimulating some collagen.  These can be started after 3 months.  You should also consider using tretinoin cream and you must use sun protection.

Toronto Dermatologist

Chemical resurfacing after laser resurfacing

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I would agree that chemical resurfacing after laser resurfacing would be redundant. If you have depressed, ice-pick scarring, there are other treatments that can manage what the re-surfacing procedures cannot address, including saline subcision, punch excision followed by resurfacing and the TCA Cross method in which strong chemical peeling agents are applied to individual depressed scars. If you really want to undergo another resurfacing procedure, I would wait 6 months since improvement in scars following the laser resurfacing procedure you just undertook can continue for several months.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

You already were "resurfaced"

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If you have recently had laser resurfacing, there usually would not be any reason to go through further resurfacing using a chemical peel. Maybe there might be a few instances where this could be entertained but it certainly isn't the routine practice.

Wait 6 months after laser resurfacing

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Ablative laser resurfacing and chemical peeling can only improve superfiical scarring. Most noticeable scar improvement requires stimulation of new collagen growth deep in the Dermis; Chemical peels and Active FX just cannot do this.

The best, newest, most effective treatment for scars is called non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing. There is no raw skin or down time afterwards. I use the Starlux 1540 laser and the results on scars are very good. You will need 4 treatments a month apart.

Be sure to find an expert doctor who knows how to treat scars with this new technique. You can learn more by visiting the palomar medical website. A chemical peel would be a waste of time and money to treat scars.

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.