The Benefits of Using Chemical Peels For Acne Treatment

Chemical peels can be a great way to help reduce acne and improve your skin’s appearance.  Chemical peels can also target deeper causes of breakouts, helping reduce inflammation and combat signs of aging. Learn more about the benefits of chemical peels for acne, what they involve, and how they work.


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Chemical peels for acne

The primary way chemical peels work for treating acne is through exfoliation which is the shedding of dead skin cells. The primary cause of acne is a blockage (microcomedo) which prevents hair follicles (pores) from draining normally. The chemical peel dissolves the clog allowing the acne lesion to go away.  Some peel ingredients, such as salicylic acid, have a particular affinity for the oily environment of the hair follicle where acne lesions form.  Salicylic acid, which is related to aspirin, is also anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce the redness and swelling of a pimple or zit.

Reduce Acne Scars

Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of scarring and dark spots caused by acne. The blocked hair follicle sometimes ruptures which causes an inflammatory response, acne cysts or nodules. The redness and swelling of an inflamed acne lesion is the body’s way of trying to open up the clogged pore and allow it to drain.  This process may be very destructive.  Tissue in the skin may get dissolved leaving a scar. Acne scars often have a more depressed or pitted appearance than other types of scars. Chemical peels help with  this side effect of acne as they stimulate collagen production which can fill in the acne scar.

In the media: Dr. Strachan shares her expertise of chemical peels for acne scars for Shape

Improve Skin Texture and Tone

You don’t have to have acne, or another skin problem, to benefit from a chemical peel. In addition to helping reduce the look of acne and acne scars, chemical peels can also help improve your skin texture and tone. Chemical peels contain exfoliants that help smooth out and even out skin, leaving you with a more luminous complexion even if you’ve never had a blemish.

Chemical Peels for Acne also Treat Hyperpigmentation & Discoloration

Many people with acne develop hyperpigmentation, or dark marks, in response to the inflammation in their skin. Chemical peels for acne are also beneficial in treating this post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne.  They also help resolve hyperpigmentation from other causes such as melasma and discoloration due to sun damage or age. By removing the outermost layer of skin and exfoliating, chemical peels reveal a new, more even layer of skin. For people who instead develop red marks from acne, the anti-inflammatory effect of a chemical peel also helps these blemishes resolve.

Protect Against Premature Aging & Sun Damage

It is often said that people with acne at least benefit in the long run by having younger-looking skin.  Some believe that being oily maintains a youthful appearance.  Many of the treatments for acne such a topical retinoids, azelaic acid, salicyclic and glycolic acids, however, may be the source of this effect.  Chemical peels for acne also have an rejuvenating “side effect.” These treatments are also popular for people who don’t have acne because of their antiaging benefits.   Chemical peels reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. Additionally, by removing outer layers of the skin, chemical peels may decrease hyperpigmentation due to sun damage and age spots.

Chemical Peels Before and After
Chemical Peels Before and After



Chemical peels for acne are effective for removing blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and zits.  They also help clear up the aftermath of acne as they help dark marks, red marks and scars resolve. People who use chemical peels for acne may also enjoy other benefits as this treatment improves the appearance overall as well as having antiaging benefits.

Are you ready for your chemical peel? Contact us to schedule your consultation and peel with our dermatology specialist here!

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