Better to Get a Peel on Untanned Skin Vs Skin That is Very Tan?

I am considering getting a laser peel, or a chemical peel on my face. I had a sample of a 20 micron lasering done on my hand to see what it is like. The area just turned slightly red for a day and now, 3 days later, it just looks like skin that received a slight sunburn, but is now turning tan. It doesn't look like it will peel at all! I do have a lot of tanning and sun damage on my hands, so could it be that that skin there is tougher? Do I need a stronger one?

Doctor Answers 2

Chemical peel

It is less important whether the skin is tan prior to a chemical or laser peel. What is important, however, is that you observe very good sun protection/avoidance for 2-4 weeks after the chemical peel. We do generally use stronger agents on the hands because the skin of the hands is thicker than the skin of the face.

Good luck.

San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

When your skin is tan the risk for hyper-pimentation from laser is increased

Tan skin is basically skin with more deposition of pigment. When you tan your pigment factory makes more melanin which the brown pigment in your skin. After laser if you have darker skin you may develop posti inflammatory hyper-pigmentation which is more melanin from inflammation. So ti answer your question it depends on your skin color, your sun exposure, the type and depth of the laser.

I would return to your doctor and ask him if you need to start pigment creams. I often use pigment creams before and after peels, lasers etc.

Good luck!

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.3 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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