Can I Have Chemical Peel Done On My Face After Having Surgical Dermabrasion?

I am 45 years old and I had a dermabrasion when I was 16 years old because of acne scars. Can I have chemical peel done on my face? Do you think my skin would be too sensitive to this treatment even after all these years?

Doctor Answers 18

Chemical Peel

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Thank you for your question. I would have a formal assessment by a physician prior to pursuing a chemical peel. Best of luck. 

Can I Have Chemical Peel Done On My Face After Having Surgical Dermabrasion?

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Thanks for your query. You can do chemical peel after the skin from your surgical abrasions has healed completely. It takes around 1 month to completely heal, but the best can be decided by your treating doctor. Hope it helps. 

All The Best

Ajaya Kashyap, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 228 reviews

Chemical Peel after Dermabrasion.

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A chemical peel would be appropriate. You must have your skin evaluated by a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon to determine best peel or laser to use. Lasers typically stimulate more collagen and may be appropriate for you. Thanks for you question. 

Stephen P. Beals, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Multimodal approach to acne scars

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Thank you for your question.   I find that multimodal approach to acne scar treatment is much more effective than any single treatment modality. So doing a peek would be encouraged.  The multimodal approach I usually recommencompasses the following:
1) fractional laser resurfacing - CO2 is ideal for lighter skin types who can tolerate some downtime and usually requires one treatment. Radio frequency treatments are better for darker skin types or those who don't want as much downtime. They usually require several treatments.
2) Subcision techniques to break the tethering between the base of the scar and the underlying tissue. This is usually coupled with dermal fillers to help occupy the newly released space. Treatments are often repeated yearly, with improvements seen with each treatment as the untethered skin starts to remember it's less tethered state
3) Sculptra - is a specialized filler that builds collagen and when injected superficially, has also been found to help remodel the skin under the the acne scars
4) Ulthera - is a non-invasive approach to tightening the skin via collagen formation to help tighten the appearance of acne scars
5) Profound - is a minimally invasive radio frequency microneedling approach that stimulates Elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid formation in the skin. It also shows promise in helping with acne scars, but does require more study.
6) maintenance therapy with chemical peels, microdermabrasion and skincare are also important measures.
7) keeping good control of any active acne is also important to help maintain a healthy looking skin and mitigate against future scar formation.

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who has these multimodal approaches will be a great way to customize an approach for you.

Chemical peeling many years following dermabrasion

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Dermabrasion many years ago should not predispose you to problems associated with chemical peeling.  It is important to recognize that there is a wide range of chemical peels available and that some of these peels can be associated with substantial risks.  I would consult with your physician to discuss whether you are at high risk with the proposed chemical peel given your history of dermabrasion.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

There is no reason to suspect that you would have a problem with a chemical peel

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Thanks for your question. Since the dermabrasion was done years ago, there is no reason to suspect that you would have any problem having a chemical peel now. A board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon should evaluate your skin to determine what your needs are and what the best peeling agents are for you. Along with the peel, or whatever procedure you are contemplating, make sure that you are also placed on an appropriate skin care routine to maximize your results.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Chemical Peels/Lasers for acne scars

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Always make sure that you have an evaluation by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist.  Skin after dermabrasion can be a little more sensitive.  You should be able to get a peel or laser treatment for the acne scars since the dermabrasion was so many years ago.  What type of peel/laser will depend on your skin, and the desired outcome. 

Candis Lovelace, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Chemical Peels after dermabrasion

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Since you had your dermabrasion many years ago, I don't see why you could not have a chemical peel now.
There is a new generation of chemical exfoliants unlike the traditional chemical peels of the past. Instead of using a high concentration of just one acid, the newer chemical  peels use a combination of acids at a lower concentration that offer a synergistic effect. One of the peels that we offer in our practice is the VI Peel which is effective on all skin types and treats numerous skin conditions--such as hyperpigmentation and helping to reverse the effects of  sun damage and other environmental factors.

Also, you mentioned that you had your dermabrasion due to acne scarring. You may even be an excellent candidate for laser resurfacing.

I would recommend that you consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist to determine what your best course of  treatment would be to obtain your desired results. Best wishes to you.

Kimberly A. Henry, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon

Acne surgery and chemical peels

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Chemical peels are great for resurfacing of the skin and reducing sebum content. We utilize the Melapeels often in our practice for acne.


Dr. Karamanoukian

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

An examination is essential before peeling, consider other options...

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To answer your question directly, its YES but... 
the type and strength of peel will depend on many factors including-

1. The depth and strength of chemical peel you are aiming to get- low strength glycolic vs medium depth TCA or Deep Jessers/ TCA or (outdated) phenol?
2. The current state of your skin- can depigmentation or colour changes be seen after your dermabrasion
3. Your skin colour or ethinic race plays a part
4. Your current medical history
5. The most important questions is 'What are you aiming to achieve?'

Consider treatments such as fractional lasers, fillers, or a combination of things to achieve the result, not just a treatment. Your Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon can give you the BEST solution to achieve the optimal outcome. 

Hope this helps

Dr Davin S. Lim
Laser and Cosmetic Surgeon
Brisbane, Australia

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.