Redness and Crusting After Glycolic Peel

I just received a glycolic facial peel yesterday for the first time ever. Today, I woke up and saw my chin area bright red, scabby-looking, dry, rough, kind of sore, even. It looks very nasty. I was told at the spa there would be no side effects the next day. Is this going to heal? Will I have lasting skin damage from this? How long do you think it will take to heal? Are there any products that I can use on it to help it heal, like an antibotic ointment? Any product I should avoid?

Doctor Answers 7

Post-op recovery following chemical peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most of the time, post-op recovery from light glycolic acid peel should be minimal. Significant and prolonged irritation sometimes is contributed by usage of topical retinoid or exfoliants prior to chemical peel. To minimize irritation from 'lunchtime' chemical peels or microdermabrasion, back off your skincare routine other than sunscreen, moisturizer and gentle cleansers for 3-4 days prior to procedure.

Redness and flaking from my Chemical Peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Tracey7795. We're not sure why the spa would have told you that there are no potential side effects as redness, flaking and irritation are common outcomes for Chemical peels. It could be that they left the acid peel on longer than they should have, which means the results were more pronounced.

Not to worry, use a gentle cleanser and a non-alcohol, non aloe moisturizer to calm the skin (we like Green Tea moisturizers for soothing effects). Do not pick at the flaky skin, just let it come off naturally. And do not wash your face often to try to get the dead skin to come off as this may create more irritation. Be gentle on your skin, wear sunscreen and you will heal just fine. Good luck.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Glycolic Peels

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Glycolic peels can result in some redness and flaking lasting 3-7 days. Depending on the strength used, the side effects will vary. In general, this is a superficial procedure with little risk of any long-term side effects. Use sunscreen with Zinc Oxide and a moisturizer until it heals. Please inform your doctor that you peeled before doing another so that they can adjust your treatments accordingly

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist

Glycolic peel side effects

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First, make sure that you have your peels performed at a medical clinic with trained personnel to minimize side effects and optimize results. Glycolic peels are superficial, so there will not be any lasting damage. Usually takes 7-10 days to fully heal over. I would wear sun protection for a month after such an outcome/burn, keep the area moist with a topical antibiotic for the first week, and wash gently with a cleanser. No more peels, exfoliating, microdermabrasion for 3 months to give the skin time to fully recover.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Glycolic Redness & Crusting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Depending on the strength of the glycolic peel and what you have been using on your skin prior to treatment, some areas can scab over.  It is temporary and will heal, DO NOT pick or rub - this will only prolong the healing process.  I would highly recommend Epidermal Repair by SkinCeuticals to apply.  It will help soothe the area and stimulate faster healing.  Sunscreen would also be beneficial for you right now, and avoid any products containing AHA or Retinols until you are fully healed.

Glycolic Peels require care.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is true that most glycolic peels result in minimal peeling or discomfort.  Glycolic peels, however, come in many strengths and levels of buffering  which influence the penetration of the acid.  It is also crucial that the peel be neutralized at the right time or a deeper peel can result.  The condition of your skin before the peel (have you been using retin a or benzoyl peroxide) will impact on peel depth.  Finally,  the preparation of the skin just before the peel is a factor (was the skin scrubbed with alcohol?).  As you can see there are many variables and a peel that penetrates too deeply can scar.  Apply a bland ointment and get to your dermatologist to assess the skin damage.  

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Chemical peel burns and redness

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Our office specializes in chemical peels for the face. Most peels will have some downtime.  At this point, a gentle cleanser and medical attention can help you minimize scarring from the peel you had done.

Dr. Karamanoukian

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.