what is the most effective peel chemical and percentage for hyperpigmentated/sundamaged for dark african american skin!

I have sun damaged skin and I am African-American. I am perplexed by how many peels that are available to purchase. Please answer the following questions: What acid is the most effective acid for dark African American skin: What acid wil not causes hyperpigmentation or light blotches on the skin; What is the most effective acid and acid percentage for treating hyperpigmentation. Additionally, I want to know the precautions of using skin peels without supervision of a licensed dermatologist.

Doctor Answers 3

Peels for dark skin hyper pigmentation

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There is no "perfect peel" for dark skin hyper pigmentation, but generally speaking glycolic acid is a very nice option. I would start with you at 30 or 50%, and eventually move to 70% glycolic acid - this substance is generally quite safe and effective in dark skin.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Effective Chemical Peels for African American Skin

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There are several peels that are great for addressing hyper-pigmentation and sun damage in African American and other ethnic skin types. Even the lightest African American skin can respond in the same manner as the darkest African American skin if not handled with care. Therefore, the two most important steps in utilizing chemical peels on ethnic skin is prepping the skin for treatment and caring for the skin immediately following treatment.  Any acid(even the mildest) can result in hyper/hypo-pigmentation if the skin is not prepped and properly cared for post peel. Ideally, the skin will be conditioned with an appropriate skin care regimen and prepped for 2-4 weeks with a medical grade skin lightener prior to treatment and for 7-10 days after the peeling process is complete. 

The precaution regarding using chemical peels without the supervision of a physician is a simple one: DON'T DO IT.  Consult with a physician or clinically trained licensed aesthetician who is skilled and comfortable treating ethnic skin types.  Ultimately, the type of acid used and frequency/series of peels will be based on the current condition of the skin(degree of hyper-pigmentation/sun damage).

Effective Chemical Peels is Based on Skin

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Thank you for your question. With African skin, you have a very large list of risk factors.  Generally, the darker the skin, the greater the risks.  You will need to be under the supervision of a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has expertise in peels and skin of color.  After a skin consult and understanding of your skin type, condition, and sensitivity, options can be discussed. I hope this helps.

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.