Chemical Peel Burns from 30% Glycolic At Home - Walnut Creek, CA

Hi All, I'm used to doing glycolic peels at...

Hi All,

I'm used to doing glycolic peels at home, but this time I left it on for far too long on one side of my face and a small spot on my forehead. It all happened so fast and I realized that the peel had burned through several layers of my skin. My skin is pretty resilient, but do you think the damage will be permanent?

chemical peels are crazy

ok so, the marks eventually went away. I didn't do anything to special but I did buy some aloevera gel call 'skingel' you can find it on amazon or at local health food stores. I also used burts bees intense hydration line. Now I'm actually pretty obsessed with that line.

still loving peels

Just wanted to update for anyone considering doing this:

I've been doing a lot of peels over the last year and now I'm actually using 70% Glycolic Acid on my face - often times just diluted with a little bit of water. I always leave it on past the recommended time (which I DO NOT recommend if you aren't experienced with peels - I started out using 25%-50% using the recommended times).

My best advice is not to go overboard and get aggressive with your skin, especially if you are just starting out. If you apply the peel using to much pressure or friction you will end up taking a layer of skin off that way and it will take a month or two - or even a year- before it starts looking normal. Now I do each side of my face separately and keep a really close eye to see what is happening. I've realized I should NEVER do a peel while I'm distracted with something else. If my skin is stinging abnormally or burning too fast then I will literally run to rinse it off. If it was a false alarm I can always apply more peel. Otherwise, the peel will actually neutralize itself - you can feel it when the burn stops completely. The only thing I have to show for this incident is a little round mark on my chin that is slightly lighter than the rest of my skin. I think it will fade as time goes on. My skin is really a beast. I could burn off my whole face and it will be back to normal - and then breaking out - in a week or less.

Aside from the setbacks I've dealt with, I really love a good deep peel. The down time sucks and its painful, but after I do it my face feels beautifully clean. Everything that was trapped in my pores comes straight to the surface. It is kind crazy to look at your face and see how much gunk is just sitting in your pores - waiting to make you breakout. That painful underground cyst will quickly become a visible whitehead that takes no effort to extract. Kinda gross, but really awesome. Each time I do a really aggressive peel I get one step closer to a "flawless" complexion that doesn't need help from makeup.

Happy and safe peeling guys!
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Can I ask how long you left it on for? 
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I don't really remember. It was quite a while ago this happened, but I remember being stupidly aggressive with the application, ie rubbing my face pretty hard.
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I just read your update, thank you so much!! Very helpful!! I do have some more questions, (hope I didn't miss in your update) how long aprox do you leave you treatment on. And when you say it naturalizes itself during treatment can you clarify...do you mean it stops burning. I use 40% for 5-7 min ...I feel I can go longer but afraid to.  
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Well I have issues with mild acne/sometimes cystic acne and brown spots - also from acne. When I go to do a peel my main goal is to unclog my pores (this is the easiest, it just happens), exfoliate the areas that have broken out so that they will come to the surface and dry up. I also try - doesn't always work - to put the peel on the dark spots until they turn bright red - this means they will be gone in a week or so. Some dark spots are really stubborn and I'd rather not risk burning myself to get them to turn red. Either way - with a deep peel - they will definitely be less noticeable then they were before. So it is a win-win. And yes, the peel stops burning, for me at least. My mom also got a peel at the dermatologist and the Dr. said the same thing. It burns the worst when you first put it on. Either the chemical gets weaker as it burns or your body neutralizes it somehow. I'm not sure. That being said, you should always be paying close attention to your face after you apply the peel, regardless. If you feel you've overdone it, then you should definitely rinse if off ASAP. The peel is a lot weaker after a certain point, but I don't think it is totally inactive. This last peel I did, I wasn't paying attention to time. I think it took about an hour and a half? So you could say I spent 15-25mins on each side of my face. I used the whole bottle of 70% which was a first - I dilute it a little bit tho. I gently applied peel until I saw the kind of results I was looking for. I dab my face with a towel to lessen the burn and rinse my face if I see any sign that the peel is burning me beyond pigmented layer of my skin. Its fine if I catch it right when its getting there. But if I'm not paying attention OR being a goofball talking to someone at the same time - well, then I'm looking at an embarrassing white/pink burn mark that will take a few months to heal. I really don't recommend this for everyone. I'm pretty serious about my peels and I like seeing drastic results. Plus, I have a high pain threshold and I'm not easily grossed out by pus, blood, or oozing. It is really like a surgery in a way for me. I order a week's worth of groceries and stay in the house/lay around/do nothing until the scabs finally start falling off. Then I have fresh new complexion with less marks. So it all depends on your skin. If you have thin delicate baby skin I wouldn't recommend this at all. For you, I would suggest gradually increasing the time you leave on the peel OR the strength of the solution. Maybe do 40% for 8 minutes next time and keep increasing by a minute to see what you can do. Make sure you have a good mirror and lots of light to see what the peel is doing and how your skin is reacting to it.
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Thanks for your reply, I will work my time up - I believe in my kit it said to start at 3 min (which I did) and to increase 1-2 min per week - not exceeding 10 min. I use baking soda and water to rinse as the baking soda is a netulizer - do you do that as well?
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Difficult to say. While most glycolic acid damage is pigmentary in nature and therefore NOT permanent, it is possible to scar your skin with some of the commercially available glycolic acid preparations. 30% is on the mellower side, so that’s encouraging. The best way for me to tell an early scar is the absence of “addenexal” structures like small hair follicles. If you see fine hairs in the area that are still intact, a scar is less likely. Pigmentary changes (called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation), which can take months to resolve in skin of color, is never permanent. Sunscreen is a must and hydroquinone preparations can be very helpful to expedite return of normal color.
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Hi Dr. Buka, I was involved in a car accident when I was 20 years old, and at the time it was suggested that I get a TCA peel to remove some facial scars from the accident. The physician performed the peel and like everyone else, I look horrible. The results were not significant, so the physician did it again. I now have areas absent of "addenexal" as you mentioned above. Make-up doesn't cover it, and I am concerned about doing any other peels or procedures because I had an aesthetician provide dermabrasion to my skin and it seems like the area grew larger. I've tried Jessner peels too, and liked the overall results, but feel that my skin is very sensitive and prone to scarring, because I noticed a new scar on my chin. Do you think a glycolic peel is better for me? What do you think about the laser options? Thank you in advance. Lisa
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Cover your white spots for at least a yearm this will go away soon. If not there are options. This happens even in doctirs offices.
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So What happened after time went by...did the deep red marks become permanent?
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Marks went away cept on chin.
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Use 50-75% sunblock and do not take sun under any circumstances. Use a hat or cap. Looks great!
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I am two whree weeks aftery self made tca 30% peel. Enough to say that at first I looked like someone has thrown hot oil from skillet on face, after all its acid. It stings as hell when you apply it so be ready and have a timer running. I kept peeling well into second week even thought i didnt went to deep bit the results were awesome..doing a second session in two weeks. Be aware there will be at least a 5-7 day downtime, meaning 110% sunblock, hat, big shades so people cant really tell wjat is going on. Once it starts peeling, you are looked at home for about two -three days, looks like a face mask going off but.you cant pull it. I would take long showers and water would take it off.
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Hey Andy :D Just wondering , i'm a rookie at this, but my skin (specifically face) is really untonned. I naturally have dark skin , but the skin around my eye brows, cheeks, chin and some parts of my nose are visibly lighter than everywhere else which if my forehead, sides of the face and sadly around my eyes :/ ! Do you reckon a chemical peel would help tone my skin up ? Which peel would you recommend and where would i get it from? This might sound dumb, but what are peels used for ? and what are you using it for? Much love Ayak xx !
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Peel is always a procedure conducted by doctor or a trained professional so should not be done at home ,you can apply desonide cream and continue application of sunscreen And do show to a dermatologist or it might leave a mark.
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Your statement is incorrect. Peelings.canxbe self administered as long as you do your homework and know about your skin and needs. It woild be ideal having some clinical background (i.e. i used antibiotics tocmake sure there were no keloids formed and that healing faster, but also aware that would made my skin even more sensitive to sun) average people wont know that unless really informed on skin matters
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Your statement is incorrect. Peelings.canxbe self administered as long as you do your homework and know about your skin and needs. It woild be ideal having some clinical background (i.e. i used antibiotics tocmake sure there were no keloids formed and that healing faster, but also aware that would made my skin even more sensitive to sun) average people wont know that unless really informed on skin matters
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I agree Andy and I do deeper home peels and lots of water, keep it washed, moist and neosporine and my skin looks great. Just do your homework and know your skin
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My TCA peeling results were great! Waiting for the week after July 4 to do another one. The only thing that bothers me is how sensitive I have become to sunlight, specially now in summer but that is normal. I am willing to trade the acne scars for the sun sensitivity. I have found a new hobby collecting hats since I love the outdoors. lol
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Agreed. Chemical peels should only be done by a certified professional. Plus, home care kits probably won't give you the best results you could get. You get what you pay for. Just like the new Diode lasers you can get on the market for home use. Probably wouldn't work as well as a laser used in a med spa. Most people don't know about after care either. Like the fact that you have to stay out of the sun for 24- 48 hours typically, and wear sunblock every day.

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Ouch, so sorry to hear about your burns. :(

Here is a forum that might interest you:

Did you get burned or white streaks from bad chemical peel?

Here are some Q&A's that might be helpful too:

How to Fix Scarring, Burns from Chemical Peel?

Facial Burns from Superficial Chemical Peel

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