Why has my face gone frosty white from a chemical peel and what does it mean? (Photo)

I did a fusion peel at home which has, tca acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, resorcinol and fruit enzyme complex. I left it on for 6 minutes, and nutrilized it then washed with cold water. My face is white and burning. I'm currently using skinstitut laser aid

Doctor Answers 6

Normal endpoint

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This appears to be the normal endpoint of a TCA peel, however, it does imply significant strength of the peel, which I feel is too strong for a home peel.  Your skin appears light enough to be able to handle this kind of peel, but a darker skinned person may run into trouble with resulting hyper or hypo pigmentation (lighter or darker spots - NOT the result one wants!!).  Keep moisturizing with the cream, and you should be OK, but I would be cautious in using this product again.

Moorestown Dermatologic Surgeon

Frosting After A Peel

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This is usually is the endpoint and signifies depth and where the skin will peel, it looks as if this was not applied evenly so likely you will have hot spots. I suggest being on the right skin care and sun protection and not doing this type of peel at home in the future.  Please see an expert so that you get the most even results.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Why has my face gone frosty white from a chemical peel and what does it mean?

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The frosty effect or white out is a superficial burn of the epidermis caused by the chemical reaction. Now you might be better served to seek the in person care of a derma or PS to prevent hyperpigmetation complications. At home care usually results in complications, so this cheap way will now become very expensive.. 

Why has my face gone frosty white from a chemical peel and what does it mean?

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Hi Bettycles,

The frosting you describe is a common occurrence (in fact you want it to develop) from a chemical peel.  The outer layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, is comprised of dead cells filled with keratin, and when the chemical burns though this layer the keratin separates and sits on top of your skin as a white layer.  This isn't too much different then when you scratch dry skin and white flakes come up.  The only other advice I can give is to please be careful using these chemical agents at home, and I would highly recommend future treatments under the direction of your local dermatologist or plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Hunter Moyer, MD
Rapid City Plastic Surgeon

Use of Home Peels is Unsafe

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Use of such peels at home is unsafe and should be done in the hands of a trained professional.  I recommend that you see a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist expeditiously for further advice.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews


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Frosting of the skin, which is when the skin turns white during a chemical peel occurs as the epidermis is exfoliated away by the acidic solution. This typically will only occur with deeper peels, such as TCA. When the frosting occurs, the chemical peel is typically neutralized immediately to prevent the peel from going too deep and causing additional damage to the skin. Typically, the areas where the frosting occurs the most is where you peel the most. To ensure you don't have any adverse effects from the peel, such as hyperpigmentation, post peel skin care is imperative. I would recommend following up with a dermatologist who is well versed in peels to recommend post peel care to ensure you don't have any hyperpigmentation complications.

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 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.