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How Long Will PIH Last After TCA Peel?

I had a 40% TCA peel done by my dermatologist that left my face with Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (all over my face) and prolonged redness.

I look really bad, and I am just wondering what is the longest amount of time I can expect to look like this (it has been 3 weeks since my peel)? I am a 21 year old male, with light brown hispanic skin.

Doctor Answers 5

This must be treated quickly

PIH is a common complication for type III skin like hispanic skin. To avoid it, I usually peel such patients in the winter months. I recommend at least a 2 week pre-treatment with Triluma nightly, a high SPF daily (rain or shine) and immediately after the peel is healed, return to the Triluma. If there is any persisting redness at 2 weeks, it needs to be addressed quickly with a corticosteroid cream for 2 weeks to reduce the inflammation quickly before the pigmentation starts. Once PIH occurs, mild corticosteroid creams and retinoids are the best bet, but it can last months. For this reason, I urge "an ounce of prevention" over the pound of cure.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

PIH after TCA peel

It has only been 3 weeks, so you are still healing. Hispanic skin is prone to hyperpigmentation. You should have pre-treated with a retinol/hydroquinone blend for at least 2 weeks prior to the 40% TCA peel, which may have prevented it in the first place. Now that you have done the chemical peel and experiencing "post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation" the best option for you right now is to wait a couple more weeks to complete the healing process. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen everyday (SPF 30 or higher), and reapply every 2 hours if outside for a prolonged period of time.

After your healing process is completed (approx. 4-6 weeks) I recommend a follow up with your dermatologist and starting on a regimen of a retinol/hydroquinone or Triluma to be applied at bedtime. Doing a series of light TCA peels (10%) can be beneficial as well. Good Luck!

Joseph Serota, MD
Aurora Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

TCA follow-up treatment

I would recommend a follow up treatment such as a microderm with a 10% tca, followed by the Obagi skin care system or tri-luma. With ethinic skin, you almost always have to follow up with some sort of pigment correcting skin care products. Never leave home without SPF.

Lee Robinson, MD - RETIRED
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

TCA peels

You are very early now. The best time to start treatment  of the hyperpigmentation.

A good Skin care Like the OBAJI skin care and frequent light chemical peels.

You may also try Cosmelan mask and creams.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Hyperpigmentation can take months to resolve

Hyperpigmentation needs to be treated with various bleaching creams and can take many months to resolve. I would seek advice from a dermatologist in your area.

Good luck.

Dr. Lenore

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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.