Do I Have a Burn After Glycolic Peel? (photo)

I had glycolic peel yesterday and since then the areas of my skin on my forehead and both side cheeks have burning sensation and look like they have been burned.I also have eczema on the forehead and side cheeks and was told that it was ok to do the peel there. There is oozing on the skin and discoloration is like my skin has been peeled off and burned. The beautician said that it was ok. At this point I'm really concerned. What should I do and what creams can I apply to ease the discomfort?

Doctor Answers 1

Chemical peel burn

Yes, you are experiencing a burn from the chemical peel. The problem with many chemical peels is that they go too deep, too fast, and cannot be controlled. For people with sensitive skin (which you have clearly!), only chemical peels that have a time delay to them should be used. This prohibits the peel from going too deep too fast and allows the product to go in over a specific amount of time. Right now, you need to do the following to avoid any long-term damage:

1. Do not pick, scratch, peel or rub your skin. Use a sensitive liquid soap only (like Cetaphil or Dove) and apply it with your hands. No washcloths, loofahs, sponges, etc.

2. Apply hydrocortisone (available over the counter) on your skin while it is still damp. If you can get in to see a dermatologist, do so, and ask for a prescription of betamethasone - this will help stop the chemicals from continuing to penetrate or go deeper. You may also apply Aquaphor at night. It's important to keep your skin moist.

3. Wear sunscreen and avoid the sun. Burning these areas will cause more problems and could lead to hyper or hypo pigmentation of the skin. If you do have hyperpigmentation (darker brown skin) as it's healing, you may ultimately need a prescription for hydroquinone, but that will be a few months down the line. '

4. Please don't do chemical peels at a spa with a beautician. The problem is that these are chemicals. And they have problems. And in inexperienced hands, things like this happen. If you want to do these types of treatments you need to do them under the supervision of physicians.

Please be careful with your skin. Consult a dermatologist as soon as possible. I'm sorry you had this happen.

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.