Obagi Nu Derm caused severe inflammation and darkening of my skin. How can I treat this problem?

Last year Doctor recommended Obagi Nu Derm for acne and hyperpigmentation. She did a glycolic peel. After two weeks of Obagi my skin was inflamed and darkened but no peeling occurred. The doctor did another peel. After another two weeks my face was burning and there was only minor peeling. I stopped using Obagi. 10 months on my pigmentation is a lot worse and the healthy skin has got darker. I know there is no quick fix to this, but how can I treat my problem. Honest answer much appreciated.

Doctor Answers 4

Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams

I also use these products in my practice for pigmentation and pigmentary problems. 

Hyperpigmentation after Obagi Blue peel is sometimes observed even though it is meant to correct uneven pigmentation of the skin. This could be because of genetics, sun exposure, etc. 

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Obagi Blue Peel in Los Angeles

Our office specializes in dark scar correction. For pigmentation after peels, we advise application of Melarase creams (AM and PM) twice daily to improve skin tone. We also use Elevase Moisture Booster for dry skin after an Obagi Blue Peel. 


DR. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


Hyperpigmentation has many varieties and causes. If you are having a continuing problem you should consult with a physician. Do you have any photos?

I carry Obagi's new like ZO Skin Health because it has newer less harsh ingredients with the same results.

I hope this was helpful,

Dr. Barrett,
Beverly Hills, CA

Daniel Barrett, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

NuDerm Problems

Dr. Obagi formulated the Blue Peel and created a skin rejuvenation line called NuDerm using tretinoin, hydroquinone and glycolic acid to complement it over 2 decades ago. Tens of thousands of patients worldwide have responded to wrinkle reduction, pore size reduction tightening and leveling of the skin and more even pigmentation. He has superseded NuDerm developing ZO Skin Health to further improve the troubles patients have had with inflammation, irritation, pigmentation, firming and tightening, acne, aging and sun-damage not previously managed.

The ZO Skin Health Circle advances Dr. Obagi’s philosophy to:
PREPARE the skin for THERAPEUTIC management and REJUVENATION,
MAINTANENCE of results,
Continued REPAIR of cell membrane and DNA damage,
DEFENSE and PREVENTION internal and environmental aging.

Without proper preparation of the skin and compliance to the program, the skin cells producing oils and pigmentation will not be properly regulated and you may respond by becoming oilier, more inflamed and more pigmented. ZO Skin Health provides for these problems using retinols, non-hydroquinones melanin blockers and anti-oxidants.

Glycolic acid peels perform only superficially and its effects plateau quickly. You may be ready for a deeper peel.

Please consider a ZO expert by linking to ZOSkinHealth.com in order to evaluate and manage these problems. I wish you the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.