Second Degree Burn! Lactic Acid! SHOULD Not Have Happened!!! - Australia, AU

I have been a member of ClearSkinCare 'Skin Gym'...

I have been a member of ClearSkinCare 'Skin Gym' and it was going really well until my therapist went on leave and started being treated by someone else. I have had peels before (glycolic) with the previous therapist with NO problems. No side effects, nothing. As these are mean't to be superficial peels.

So I was booked in with a different therapist for Peel and LED Cystalite. She applied 40% lactic acid to my skin and I can't even remember how long she left it on, it's only meant to be 2-3 minutes but I am sure I heard her say 10 and it feel longer than 3 minutes. It definitely felt stronger than the glycolic I had before so I just assumed that was normal as she did say it was stronger. She wiped the peel off with a damp cloth and puts me under the Crystalite which stays on for 30 minutes. During the light treatment I noticed my skin felt wet..It was really odd. I touched my face and felt fluid leaking out of one spot and it was quite hot as well but not overly painful. I just had to wait for her to come back in the room. When she turned the light off I told her about the fluid. She looked at my skin and said it was a bit pink, I asked to look in the mirror and noticed it looked quite raw like a graze. I asked "This is really odd, what is it and what is the fluid? Is lactic acid related to lactose and is it okay to use if I have a slight lactose intolerance? :S". I was very confused and bit panicky. She said "OH you should have told me that you had a lactose intolerance!! We never use lactic acid on people with lactose intolerance". I said "But I didn't know because it's not like medically diagnosed, just if I have a whole glass of milk or an icecream i'd have a bloated stomach". She wiped it down with a damp cloth once more and applied lots of hyaluronic acid to the raw area and Hydrating Cream all over my face and sent me on my way.

A couple of days later I noticed it was very very raw looking like layers of skin missing and starting to scab up. I went to the after hours doctor because it was also throbbing. There I found out it was a second degree burn! With a patch of skin above it 1st degree burn. And INFECTED! I had a fever and swollen lymph nodes. He said by her applying the Hyaluronic she actually caused more tissue damage. She should have sent me to the doctor immediately after it happened because although it didn't look that bad he said chemical burns continue to burn and look worse a day or two later! If I had've known I could have had treatment immediately with an antidote to stop the chemical from burning even more layers of skin. TOO LATE NOW!
STAY AWAY FROM CLEARSKINCARE!! I sent her photos of the burn and she said she contacted the doctor who owns the clinic and apparently she said that lactose intolerance (i don't even know if I really have it :S) would have cause the BURN and that it has happened before where people have had their entire faces burnt!! GUESS WHAT? I asked TWO doctors and the chemist and looked online....IT'S NOT EVEN POSSIBLE. And my doctor said "any self-respecting doctor would not tell you that, lactose intolerance would not cause a burn from lactic acid. The burn was obviously from the therapist's technique and failed to neutralize properly or even recongize the signs of a chemical burn'. The reason I didn't feel much pain is because of nerve damage!!

Her doctor said the best treatment is to come in for LED Red light therapy every 3 days. I went in today and only could stand the machine on for 5 minutes it was starting to make the burn area swell!! I pushed panel off me and ran out of there!! Also I am REALLY upset that she is trying to make it sound like the burn IS MY FAULT because I didn't tell her that I MIGHT have a lactose intolerance :S yet it's not listed in any of their documentation as a contraindication and I was never asked. Sure when I joined the clinic I told them about relative things like my Iodine allergy etc.

I really hope that this doesn't scar!! SO UPSET!! WHAT TO DO?
It sounds really unprofessional of the therapist. She did not empathize with your situation and how you were feeling. Instead, she chose to shift the blame to play down her responsibility. I'm not a doctor. But linking lactose intolerant with a possible burn by lactic acid doesn't sound quite logical. Our body produces lactic acid all the time. And you are right that 40% lactic should not have caused a burn. This is one of the mildest form of superficial peels around, even suitable for people with sensitive skin. I hardly peel at all, just some flaking around my nose and mouth. You can google 'mybeautycravings' for before-after photos. I hope you have since recovered by now. It must have been very upsetting that when such a thing happen to our face, we don't have the support of the staff members. I don't think you should go back to them for any treatment. By your account of your experience with them, I don't quite trust their skill and professionalism.
Sienn, what happened to you is very frightening and worrisome. But don't despair. I think with time you will heal quite well. I suggest mixing my favourite healing salve. Mix equal parts Vit E oil, burn cream, scar cream(Mederma) and a triple antibiotic gel like Bacitracin. This will provide a moisturizing healing cream. Apply 2-3 times/day. If you do have brown or dark pigmentation once the burn is healed, then you can make a decision on what to do next. I am sure you have learned alot since this happened, but just a few reminders. If you see a new therapist or doctor, they should always do a pre-screen on you. Including any medical conditions, medications you are using, recent sun exposure, your ethnicity, what skin products you are currently using, how do you take care of your skin at home and many other important questions. Never let a therapist do a peel on you without them doing a patch test on an inconspicuous area such as behind your ear. The same goes for laser treatments which you might choose to do in the future. Remember, it is the responsibility of the therapist/doctor to ask you these questions and it is your responsibility to answer honestly. If you are not pre-screened before another treatment, leave the establishment immediately! I do agree you should see a dermatologist in order to get proper treatment/followup for the burn. Good luck to you!
I am sorry you had this experience. I, too, was recently burned (though not quite so badly) by a lactic/kojic acid peel, which I'd never had done before. New esthetician. I said my skin was "sensitive" - she "diagnosed" clogged pores (which they really aren't in my opinion) - and I agreed. I also think it was (a) too strong and (b) left on too long. While I didn't report stinging at level 10 - the damage was really done, I think, by removing with some kind of sponge that litterally pulled my skin off. I think at that point, maybe the lifted skin was confused with "frosting". And I said that I'd never had more than sensi-peels, or lasering at the lowest level by more gentle type lasers. So, I've learned a lesson. Had the same general kind of facial before (Oxygen Lift) - but obviously the peel used then was much gentler and not left on as long. I will never agree, however, to the lactic/kojic again. I have been using a Skinceuticals post-treatment pack that I have from lasering - and after one week - most of the redness is gone - and the scabs have dropped off, and I, too, really hope there's no permanent scar. I'm also using Skinceuticals "phyto" - which is a calming serum. Just washing my face with gentle cleansing oil - and for one week avoided any makeup whatsoever. I know my skin is sensitive - so I have to accept some responsibility for having agreed to the unknown in the first place.

Unprofessional trying to come up with excuses and ways to blame the burn on me. Lack of knowledge. Hyaluronic Acid DOES NOT neutralize. I really would like my money back thanks.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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