I have been using salicylic acid 20% for 2 weeks. I have oily, sensitive skin. 2 days ago, I had a reaction: part of my skin turned red and brownish. I stopped using it, but now it has been 5 days and the red area is not fading. I am afraid it might stay like this. Is this possible? What can I do to reverse the damage?
How Can I Reverse the Damaged from Salicylic Peel?
Doctor Answers (3)
Do not panic, yet!
It is very common for the area peeled to get darker before it lightens the area. Please avoid direct sun exposure and wear sunscreen to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. A good protocol is to pretreat the area with skin lighteners PRIOR to peeling to reduce PIH, but I would not call it PIH until it lasts longer than 10 days. Your dermatologist can treat PIH early, so be sure to get a follow up in 7-14 days post peel. FYI, in general, I prefer global to spot peeling for acne and its residual discolorations.