Chemical Peels

Chemical Exfoliation

Pregnancy

Salicylic acid chemical peels: Salicylic acid should be considered with caution during pregnancy because information on safety is limited. Even over-the-counter topical salicylic acid is absorbed through the skin, into the bloodstream, and can cross the placenta. This means that when topical salicylic acid is used during pregnancy, it can be transferred to the fetus. The exact amount of salicylic acid absorbed from salicylic acid peels is unknown, but it is greater than from over-the-counter salicylic acid. Consult your doctor if it is safe for you to do chemical peels during pregnancy.

Category: C

Glycolic and lactic acid chemical peels: Glycolic acid and lactic acid are likely safe, with limited dermal penetration, but studies are lacking. 

Jessner’s solution: Little to no evidence is available on the safety of Jessner’s solution in pregnancy, however, since it contains salicylic acid, it should be considered with caution during pregnancy. 

Mandelic, citric, trichloracetic acid, lactic acid, polyhydroxy acid, amino fruit acid, pyruvic acid: Little to no evidence is available on the safety of any of these chemical peels in pregnancy.

Category: No category assigned by FDA

Category A

Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).

Category B

Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Category C

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Category D

There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Category X

Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.

Breastfeeding

Excretion into human milk: Unknown

There is not enough information on the safety of chemical peels during breastfeeding.

Consult your doctor if it is safe for you to do chemical peels during breastfeeding.

References
  1. Aad.org. (2019). Chemical peels. [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/cosmetic-treatments/chemical-peels#overview. [Accessed 07 Jul. 2019].
  2. Castillo, D. E. & Keri, J. Chemical peels in the treatment of acne: patient selection and perspectives. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology Volume 11, 365–372 (2018).
  3. Aad.org. (2018). Treatment of acne in the pregnant patient. [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/faculty/handout/AM2018/accepted/FRM%20F116%20-%20Keri%20-%2013782%2010845.pdf. [Accessed 07 Jul. 2019].