Blisters, Swelling, and Redness After Jessner Peel

I am 39 years old, and 1 day post Jessner peel. My goals are to reduce brown spots and sun damage. I now have blisters and weeping, tight, red, very swollen skin. I also have a strong itching sensation. Is this normal and should I put something on my skin?

Doctor Answers 8

Blisters after peel

you should be evaluated by your cosmetic physician, to see if this is normal peeling after the peel or another medical problem

Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Blistering after Jessner's Chemical Peels may be triggered by Cold Sores or Staph Infection

Jessner's chemical peels is one of more conservative rejuvenation procedure; however, it really needs to be performed under supervision of board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. What you are describing may be consistent with possible infection, viral (herpes cold sore virus) or bacterial (common staph, or MRSA drug-resistant staph infection). Typically, pre-op medications would be administered if there is prior history of cold sores prior to chemical peels. Seek medical attention from a board-certified dermatologist right away if you experienced itchy, painful blisters after chemical peel.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Blisters after Jessner's Peel

Jessner's peel is a mild depth peel and is not typically associated with blistering because it only affects the epidermis.  This might represent a re-activation of a viral infection.  I recommend seeing your Physician immediately for evaluation and possible antiviral medication.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

True blisters are unusual after Jessner's

Blisters are unusual after Jessner's Peel. Strong itching could be indication of infection. Jessners is a superficial peel and should really have just redness after the peel and peeling of skin 3-5 days later. The blistering that you see could be crusting and you may need to clean more aggressively at least every 2-3 hours and sometimes every hour to decrease the crusting by moisturizing it and allowing the crusting to naturally fall off with the rinsing. I would definitely have the physician see you and make sure that you are taking care of the peel after the procedure. Jessner's peels are difficult to take deeper beyond the floor of the skin (or basement membrane). Even 5 coats may not take the peel deeper than the basement membrane which leads to a superficial to medium depth peel.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Beware Blisters After Peel

For the first day after a jessner's peel it is normal to have swelling and redness and tightness of skin. If the blisters after peel are accompanied by pain, it can be underlying activation of Herpes Simplex (cold sore) virus. These peels are not painful during the healing phase. If you are having a lot of pain with blisters, my first concern is viral infection and I would start you on an antiviral medicine like Valtrex. Other conditions can be bacterial infection, delayed healing. Itching is normal during the healing process and benadryl will take care of it.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Peeling and blistering is common but double check with your physician

IT is not uncommon to blister, peel, and sustain reddened areas after a Jessner peel. However, there is a fine line between desirable and expected blistering peeling and potential complications such as excessive depth or adverse reactions as well as potential aggravation of a herpes erruption.

If you have any questions, it is best for you to contact your physician and come in for an examination if necessary. Perhaps you could even transmit a photo if nbecessary to their office.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Sounds Like an Allegic Reaction

With the itching and small blisters this sounds very much like an allergic contact dermatitis. Suspicion would most likely fall on the resorcinol. :However, you might be allergic also to one of the other compounds in the Jessner's peel: salicylic acid or lactic acid. If your peel was done by a dermatologist I would return and have them patch test you to determine what you are allergic too. In the meantime a mid-strength steroid should be prescribed to alleviate your present symptoms.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Blisters, Swelling, and Redness After Jessner Peel

Thank you for your question. Swelling and redness are common side effects.  Blisters and weeping skin are uncommon.  keep your skin clean and  apply neosporin or aquaphor if allergic to neosporin, to blistered area.  For itchiness, you can use some hydrocortisone cream and moisturize with cetaphil cream.  I would recommend being treated under the supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist for safest and best treatment option. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 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.