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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 9 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
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 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

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
4.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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