Chemical Peels: Can Chemical Peels Make Acne Scars Worse?

Woman after chemical peel Chemical Peels: Can Chemical Peels Make Acne Scars Worse?

Chemical peels are a widely popular treatment for a variety of skin issues. But is it possible for chemical peels to negatively affect your acne scars? Here's everything you need to know before booking your next treatment.

What to Know About Chemical Peels

What Can Chemical Peels Help With?

Chemical peels can assist patients with a number of different skin concerns. Since the process of a chemical peel involves inducing skin shedding, this is a perfect treatment to help with skin complexion and texture. A chemical peel can help reveal brighter, smoother skin on the treated area. In many cases, patients will invest in chemical peels to even out their skin tone and promote skin brightness for that natural glowing look. In some cases, chemical peels can be used to reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation on the skin as well. Where acne is concerned, chemical peels can be of some use. It's typically not recommended to use a chemical peel when there is active acne on the skin.

Can Chemical Peels Be Used to Treat Acne Scars?

In the case of chemical peels for acne scars, it's possible to conduct a treatment session. That said, chemical peels for acne scars must be performed on a case by case basis for a few reasons. First and foremost, there are different types of acne scars to consider.

Dark Spots - Chemical peels are excellent for treating dark spots and hyperpigmentation. If the only scarring from acne that you have is dark spots on your skin, then it could be worth talking to your dermatologist about investing in a chemical peel.

Raised Scars - Raised acne scars on your skin are a little bit more difficult to treat. These scars are typically caused by an overproduction of collagen in the skin during the healing process. While a chemical peel can do a lot, it can't remove raised scar tissue from your skin.

Depressed Scars - If your acne scars are depressed, it's likely that a chemical peel won't be able to treat them properly. Since a chemical peel removes layers of skin, it may compromise these types of scars.

Will Chemical Peels Make My Acne Scars Worse?

We've covered a fair amount of ground when it comes to chemical peels and acne scars. At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide whether a chemical peel is the right choice for you. In the vast majority of cases, chemical peels will not make your acne scars worse. If you're only dealing with very light scarring and hyperpigmentation, then a chemical peel could actually be a great treatment to consider. But if you have more severe acne scars on your skin, you may want to speak with your dermatologist about alternative treatment options that may benefit your skin more than a chemical peel would.


If you're worried about your acne scars as you prepare for a chemical peel, don't hesitate to talk to your dermatologist. Chemical peels are a safe and effective treatment to use on almost all skin types, so set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.

Request Information