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What Are the Risks of At-Home Chemical Peels?

By April 16, 2021May 2nd, 2023Skin Care

Chemical peels have been an increasingly popular technique used for smoothing and brightening the skin. Ranging in strength between superficial, medium, and deep, chemical peels can help in treating wrinkles, sun damage, acne, and scarring to help improve skin clarity. While there are safe chemical peels that can be performed at home, lack of expertise when using these products can put you at a higher risk of painful or harmful side effects.

Redness and Scabbing

During a chemical peel, an acid is used to carefully exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin to remove damaged skin cells and rejuvenate the complexion. Depending on your skin type, chemical peels may induce redness, inflammation, and scabbing. It’s difficult to properly test the strength of an at-home peel, which can lead to even more severe effects if you happen upon a product that lingers near the 30% strength mark. It’s recommended that you consult a board-certified dermatologist for a tailored treatment plan that includes a chemical peel deemed safe by your doctor for your skin.


When performing a chemical peel at home, it’s unlikely that you will achieve the same level of sterilization as a doctor’s office. Because of this, using at-home peels increases the risk of bacterial, fungal, or viral infections as a result of the treatment. On the other hand, doctors are able to prescribe patients with anti-viral medications before and after a chemical peel to help prevent potential infection.

Worsening of Pigmentation

Without the guidance of a dermatologist, you may fail to follow proper safety measures, which can lead to the worsening of the skin issues you were intending to treat. If you’re using at-home chemical peels without following a skincare routine that includes sun protection, you may notice burning, scarring, or hyperpigmentation. Most importantly, if you are using chemical peels at home too frequently, you could be at greater risk of skin damage.

Before performing an at-home chemical peel, it’s important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss the safety of the products you’re considering and review the options offered by your doctor. The board-certified dermatologists at The Dermatology Clinic are happy to help you navigate the process of properly caring for your skin. Contact our Baton Rouge office at (225) 769-7546 to schedule an appointment with us today.