Dark Scars After Chemical Peel

I originally went to the doctor for acne treatment, but while there, I explained her that I'm going on vacation in June, and I would like to go with a clear face. She suggested that I have chemical peel.

She gave me an antbiotic to take for a month, and Retin-A and Cetaphil to use on my face,then i went back to her in about 2 weeks for a chemical peel, while the assistant was cleaning my face for the peel, I felt burning pain. I told her and the dermatologist, who then said we will do the B-lift 20% instead of the chemical peel. It burned like she said when she applied it and then it cooled down. I washed my face, it was frost white, and then the MA applied moisturizer and sunscreen.

The spots then turned dark, and the doctor said it was dead skin, and that it will fall off in 24 hours. However, it's still here and it looks horrible, like burns. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 3

Appearance after a chemical peel.

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Dear Nicole,

I'm not sure what a "B-Lift" is, or exactally what was applied to your face. The pictures you provided are only 24 hrs after the procedure, so "scarring" is not possible. Scar tissue takes days and weeks to form.

You appear to have either experienced an allergic reaction, or possibly a burn. I think the dark scabs will fall off, and the underlying skin will be a bit pink. You need to see your doctor emergently (today) to carefully recommend further treatment / wound care so the risk of scarring or pigment changes will be minimized.

The other very important advice I can give is to completely avoid the sun. I would suggest wearing a large brim hat, and large sun-glasses when you go from your car to the doctor's office.

Best regards.

West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Chemical Peel Scarring

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For anyone of color and chemical use, less is usually best! Active acne will take 9-12 months to clear on average. It will improve along the way, but you must give it time and be compliant with home care and treatments. There is no quick cure, and no chemical peel will clear you just before a vacation. In fact, a chemical peel before your vacation is not necessarily a good idea if you're going to have sun exposure.

Justin Harper, MD
Columbus Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Dark discoloration on the face

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I would use a combination of Melarase PM and Exfolase lotion on the face to help reduce the pigmentation and discoloration. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

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.