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What Should You Apply for the Burning and Skin Sensitivity After a 30% Peel?

I used a 30% peel

Doctor Answers (4)

Chemical Peel Care Instructions

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One must strictly follow the pre and post peel care guidelines of your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Generally, only bland nonreactive topical ointments are applied after a peel to protect the skin, such as vaseline or aquaphor. Clean hands and fresh towels are used to gently wash the face with a very mild soap. Cold compress and keeping the head elevated help reduce swelling and post peel irritation. Antibiotics or antiviral tablets may also be given to prevent infection. Speak with your chemical peel provider and follow their care instructions.


Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Assume you are using 30% TCA.

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A 30% TCA peel is a profound and significant peel that is approaching a 2 degree burn.  If you did use such a product, I would recommend that you take yourself to an emergency room if you can not get accepted into the practice of a dermatologist or general plastic surgeon who does chemical peels or laser resurfacing today.  The outcome of such a peel can be very much affected by the way the peel is cared for after the fact.  In your case, the need to establish proper after peel care represents a medical emergency.

If you are talking about a 30% glycolic peel, the situation is entirely different.  The depth is much less actue. Nevertheless, suboptimal post peel care can result in the out break of a herpes infection or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  I would urge you to seek immediate care with a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist.

For others out there considering ordering chemical products off the internet and doing a chemical peel at home to save a few dollars, this is a big mistake.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

After care for peels

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I prefer that patients use cold compressed for the first 24-48 hours for stinging discomfort and tylenol.  If it is a deeper peel or laser CO2 or Erbium peel, I coat the patients raw skin with aquaphor.  Call your doctor on the type of care that they prefer.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Depends on the type of peel

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What type of peel did you have?  There is a huge difference between a 30% TCA peel and a 30% glycolic acid peel. 

Generally, wound care after a chemical peel should involve an emmolient such as vaseline or aquaphor.  These ointments provide a moist enviroment that promotes healing.  For a more superficial peel, this may not be necessary, and a simple facial moisturizer like Cetaphil or CeraVe cream may suffice. 

I would consult with your physician who performed the initial peel to get his/her recommendations for post-peel care. 

Brent Spencer, MD
Frisco Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.