Q. Which is the best peel for rosacea?

Answered by
Dr. Sunil Kothiwala
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 06, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jul 19, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 29 year old male. My height is 5'5", and weight is 69 kg. I have been suffering from acne, redness and often small, red, pus-filled bumps on my face since I am 14. I visited a lot of dermatologists, but they never able to identify the reason. I have got prescriptions and that never really helped me. The conditions worsened a year ago, and I got them on my cheeks, forehead and nose. I thought that it was a normal acne until I finally visited an experienced dermatologist, who suggested that I had subtype 3 rosacea, sensitive and oily skin. He prescribed me some medicines first, and it gave me huge relief. I got rid of all the acne within 10 days. Three months passed and as the winter season came nearer, they again started appearing all over my face and then gone after some time. I visited dermatologist again who suggested me to take regular peels. I started taking sittings of peeling and after one or two peeling my face started improving and got clear in some time. Peeling worked like magic. It was superficial face peel, but do not know about the acid content and the type of acid he used to apply. He used to say that he was giving me mild peel. I stopped taking peeling as I had to leave my place and shift to the different location due to the job change. It was good for a couple of months until the temperature change. I started getting rosacea symptoms again though at this time rate of acne and bumps was low, still, it bothered a lot. Currently, I am on medication which my old dermatologist suggested. It is Papulex face wash for summer, non-drying cleanser for winter, Fisioativ cream for the night to moisturize the skin and Fix Derma UV protection, which I still apply daily thrice a day. The only thing I notice is that in my case rosacea comes back when there is a temperature change and also some stress. But, peeling is the only real magic for me. Please suggest the best possible peeling solution available. Can I use it at home probably once in 15 days?



Welcome to

  • Rosacea is a condition which may get aggravates during season change, temperature change, exercise, alcohol and stress. In rosacea, skin becomes very sensitive, and you cannot apply for any other medicines.
  • As you said treatment prescribed by the previous doctor worked for you, you can continue those medicines.
  • We use Salicylic acid (20% to 30%) or Azelaic acid peels. Rosacea makes skin very sensitive so we defer using peels at home as peels contain acid which may also harm if not applied under supervision. Patient friendly peels are not easily available.
  • You can go to your local dermatologist and ask for these peels. Meanwhile, I suggest you topical Salicylic acid 2% gel or Azelaic acid 20% gel.
  • Why do not you like to take oral medicines if you have pimples like lesions in rosacea? They also work very well.

For further information consult a dermatologist online -->

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. My previous doctor did not advise me to take oral medicines rather he suggested peeling treatment for continuous two years. But, I could take only 5 to 6 peels and then I had to shift to another place. Also, these peels are very costly and hence getting them every 15 days is a load on your pocket. The only thing I am looking for is the best quantity of peeling solution that can work for me. You have already seen my photos, and therefore I just want to know whether I should use Salicylic or Glycolic or Azelaic alone or their mixtures and also the percentage and pHlevel. I understand that they can cause problems, but if they do, I will stop applying them immediately.



Welcome back to

  • Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and go for Salicylic acid peel 20% to 30% or Azelaic acid peel 15% to 25%. Their pH is around 3. Both are safe. Follow the instruction as per written on it.

For further information consult a dermatologist online -->

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