How long will it take to get rid of my acne scars using chemical peeling at home? (photos)

I was on Accutane for about 9 months because I had pretty severe acne. All my acne cleared up perfectly, but now I am left with atrophic scars on my cheeks. I have decided to try chemical peeling at home. I was wondering how fast this will start to help. I know it will obviously take time, but I just want to know approximately how long. My chemical peel says 20%. Is that enough? Thank you for your input.

Doctor Answers 4

Chemical peels and acne scars

Home peels are generally very mild and will give very minimal to no results to remove acne scars. If you are targeting deep acne scars lasers will provide the best results and when performed by a board certified dermatologist they can yield good improvement to the scars, texture and tone of skin. after isotretinoin therapy i don’t recommend for patients to do any cosmetic treatments for at least 6 months after completion of treatment due to the effect it had on the oil glands that are needed for proper skin healing.


Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Acne Scars and Chemical Peels

If your acne was severe enough to have Accutane then you probably have significant scars that need to be addressed.  There are specific rules about lasers and chemical peels after Accutane and I would discourage you from doing at home peels.  Please find a board certified dermatologist for the best cosmetic result.

How long will it take to get rid of my acne scars using chemical peeling at home?

I would NEVER recommend self at home treatments! Best to be safe ad allow a term to treat you in person... 

First if it has been less than a year since you stopped your Accutane-do not peel your skin.

Isotretinoin is a powerful treatment for acne.  However, it is clear that it has an effect on how skin heals.  This is thought to be related to the lasting effect on the oil gland and or stem cells in the skin.  Eventually this gets better.  However, during this recovery phase, skin has an altered healing capacity.   Do not injury the skin because you will develop scaring rather than improved skin!

Now another reality check.  These peels and chemical resurfacing treatments will not "get rid" the acne scars.  Many of those websites touting the improvement on skin smoothing really are just showing radically different lighting in the before and after pictures.

Congratulations for taking control of the acne by being treated with Isotretinoin.  I strongly recommend that you continue to work with a board certified dermatologist.  Follow professional advice and steer clear of treatments that promise you the stars, the moon, and the sky.   

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 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.