Hyperpigmentation After Chemical Peel? (photo)

I had a chemical peel (lactic acid) a month ago. My skin was inflammed but thexresults were satisfying after a week. I was ask to come for a second treatment but notified the Dr. I was weary about what happened last time. I just got a skin cleaning (no idea of products used) but now I have the worst hyperpigmentation on my face. I am being treated for the inflammation (eczema prone) but I am afraid these dark spots won't go...

Doctor Answers 5

Facial Hyperpigmentation

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Certain darker skin types (ie. Asian, Hispanic and African American) are more in danger of hyperpigmentation, especially after certain treatments or trauma to the skin. That being said, lighter peeling agents such as lactic acid do not typically cause hyperpigmentation. I am not sure what you mean by a skin cleaning, but it really looks like something after the peel irritated your skin. Regardless, I recommend you consult a board-certified dermatologist to discuss aggressive treatment with bleaching creams to reduce the hyperpigmentation. Going forward, I would advise taking great caution with any treatments to avoid a similar problem. Also be very careful with sun which can worsen hyperpigmentation.

Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


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 Asian, Hispanic and African American skin are highly prone to hyper-pigmentation. Lactic acid and Glycolic acids are generally quite mild and should not do this! Did you get a lot of sun exposure after the treatment? Was there any scabbing or crusting? Post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation from a superficial peel or laser will always resolve with no scarring. It may take a few weeks to a few months. I suggest a visit with an experienced Dermatologist. Hydroquinone creams topically, Kojic Acid twice a week, Retin A cream once a week is how I treat PIH. Very mild Microdermabrasion helps as well.You should tell all your future doctors about your tendency to hyper pigment. Any procedure on your face needs to be carefully planned with a prep that includes bleaching cream and Retin A for at least 2 weeks before the treatment.

A. David Rahimi, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

PIH after chemical peel - post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation relief

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Before you spend $$$ on lasers or specifically Clear + Brilliant, consider this regimen:

 recommend Melarase AM and Melarase PMto improve hyperpigmentation as well as Scler-X, a post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation relief complex. Scler-X is an oral supplement that is taken for 3-6 months or more for maintenance therapy.

Melarase AM in the morning. Melarase PM in the evening. Scler-X once daily. 

Also apply a wide spectrum high SPF 50+ sun block to prevent ongoing damage and PIH. I recommend Spectrase from Kare Skin. 

See link below. 

Melasma treatment after a chemical peel

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I would avoid direct sunlight and begin a topical regimen including Melarase AM, Melarase PM, and RR Complex Retinoid Repair. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

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

Hyperpigmentation after a peel

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As stated below every skin type will react different to peels. However peels this mild usually don't cause the damage shown in your picture. I would recommend consulting with your dermatologist or doctor on the best treatment options (possibly laser treatments). Some of this discoloration could resolve itself over time depending on how deep the damage is. Wear lots of sunscreen and hats when you go outside; this will help reduce the amount of permanent damage. Speak to your provider about a lightening product such as hydroquinone once your skin is healed

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.