Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels Safe During Pregnancy?

Doctor Answers 9

Contrary Point of View regarding peels and pregnancy

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I do not believe there is any risk to the pregnancy from either microdermabrasion or glycolic acid peels although I understand my colleagues cautionary reserve. My bigger concern is that the melanocytes in the skin are turned on in pregnancy (causing melasma - the so called mask of pregnancy) and therefore the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after the peel is a significant. If that occurs, you would be unable to use the standard bleaching agents to remedy the problem until after the pregnancy.

Miami Dermatologic Surgeon

Wait until after baby

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I'd recommend to wait until after pregnancy/nursing to perform any elective cosmetic procedures.  Pigment production is increased in pregnancy (the mask of pregnancy or melasma) and any extra inflammation could rev up more pigment.  Also, certain chemicals used in peels, such as salicylic acid, are not recommended during pregnancy/nursing because of unknown effects on the baby.   

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

MIcrodermabrasion and peels during pregnancy

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I would not recommend chemical peels for pregnant women. Although systemic absorption of chemical peeling agents is low, it is not zero. Microdermabrasion itself is likely safe, but other topicals frequently used in association with microdermabrasion are not recommended, so you would probably be better off delaying microdermabrasion as well. Hypothetically if something were to go wrong with your pregnancy (related to a cosmetic procedure or not), you would not want to be in the position of second-guessing your decision.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Not recommended during pregnancy

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 These are both low risks procedures but in general a chemical peel is not recommended during a pregnancy.  Most of these chemicals have not been tested on pregnant individuals.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Enjoy your natural glow of pregnancy.

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You should not do a chemical peel while pregnant since the effect on your unborn is unknown.

Microdermabrasion is likely ok, but you typically get SPF and hydrocortisone after the treatment, so I'd hold off on both till the baby arrives.

Best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Chemical peels and pregnancy

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I would not recommend any type of chemical peel during pregnancy. Although the systemic absorption of the product is probably very low, it certainly is not worth the risk.  Many of these chemicals may be detrimental to the embryo.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Safety of microdermabrasion and chemical peels during pregnancy

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Microdermabrasion is a method of mechanical exfoliation and is safe during pregnancy. Chemical peels, on the other hand, are a generic class of medications with varying safety profiles during pregnancy. I would recommend to my patients to avoid chemical peels unless they have an established and documented safety profile during pregnancy. These questions should be addressed with your treating physician.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels During Pregnancy

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There are many opinions regarding the topic if non-invasive treatments are safe during pregnancy. To be safe many doctors will recommend waiting until after pregnancy to eliminate any potential risks. Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliation method that removes and vacuum dead skin cells from the skin revealing fresh, healthy skin and does not pose any threat to an unborn baby. However, chemical peels are more controversial because some believe it is possible for the peeling agents to systemically absorb in the body and that even a low amount could be harmful to the fetus. Also, melanocytes in the skin are often effected by pregnancy and many women develop melasma, often known as the mask of pregnancy. Therefore, chemical peels during pregnancy would pose an increased risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I would advise to wait until the pregnancy is over before using chemical peels.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Don't have any unnecessary procedures during pregnancy.

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Microdermabrasion and superficial chemical peels are low risk procedures, but why take a chance.  In our New York practice, we don't do anything elective on pregnant women, and we require a pregnancy test before any procedure.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.