I started getting glycolic peels 9 months ago. I get a peel every 4 weeks and have gradually worked up to 50% glycolic acid. I use Neutrogena sunscreen spf 60 everyday on my face and neck. I have very fair skin and also use vitamin c serum during the day and retinol at night. I now have small brown spots developing on my forehead. It looks like sun damage to me. I am very distressed by this as peels are suppose to help with sun damage. What is happening? Should I stop getting the peels?
Glycolic Peels Causing More Sun Damage (Brown Spots)?
Doctor Answers 2
Glycolic Peels Causing More Sun Damage
This sounds like hyperpigmentation. Sun avoidance is key after a peel. Contact your physician to have him check you.
Peels shouldn't cause more sun damage, but...
Possibly you are getting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is difficult to tell without a picture. They could be freckles or solar lentigines as well.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when inflammation causes pigment (melanin) to leak out into the dermis. This eventually goes away, but it is not an uncommon occurance after peels or laser resurfacing.
You are doing the right things with the sunscreens and retinol. You may ask your doctor about adding hydroquinone to your regimen as well. I cannot stress how important it is to stay out of the sunlight.