How Soon Can I Start Treating a Bad Chemical Peel?

How soon may I start to correct a a bad chemical peel? Another peel necessary? Microdermabrasion? I had a jessners followed by a 25% TCA within a week. 3 weeks later,my chin is all brown including brown spots on my face also. I need to know the quickest fix since I will be traveling in 6 weeks & will be exposed to the sun for a week. Over the counter since Retin-A & Tri-Luma is prescribed?

Doctor Answers 4

Treating Chemical Peel Discoloration

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As you are now aware there are risks of hyper-pigmentation with a skin resurfacing procedure.  I hope by this time you have returned to the physician who administered your peels and they have prescribed a bleaching creme for you that you can apply to the problem areas such as your chin.  If the bleaching creme is going to work, it will do so within 2-3 weeks.  I advise patients to use it once in the morning and not to apply any other product for a minimum of 3-4 hours so that the creme is fully absorbed and then apply it again at bedtime.  If you had this done at a spa or by a non-physician then I would suggest that you see a physician who specializes in treating the face. 

I would not recommend another procedure such as microdermabrasion or another peel at this time.  You need to avoid the sun as much as possible and when you are outside you must protect your face with a sunscreen that has a high SPF and preferably with a concentration of  zinc oxide.  Any exposure to the sun during the healing phase can result in brown spots and blotching. 

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

start treating a bad chemical peel

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Sorry for the issue of uneven blotching of the peel you received. I would use only local care as creams or lotion that heal and bleach. Do not do any more aggressive therapies like re peels.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Chemical Peel Recovery

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Another peel is not appropriate at this time, and further sun exposure will worsen or prolong the recovery. Avoid any microdermabrasion too.

Uneven redness and healing is not uncommon after chemical peels. Different areas of the face and neck heal at varying rates, largely based on the thickness of the skin. Thicker skin of the nose or forehead may recovery much faster than the thin skin of the lower eyelids. In addition, different areas of the face & neck area have received different degrees of sun damage. Areas of more sun damage will appear more red and irritated during the recovery period following a peel.

The most important concern with uneven appearance in skin healing is infection. Your skin is extremely vulnerable after any resurfacing procedure, including chemical peels. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections are potential complications. Inform you physician immediately if any areas appear infected.

Follow your skin doctor's post peel guidelines, and speak with him/her regarding this issue as soon as possible.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Microdermabrasions help even out color changes slowly.

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If you do a few microdermabrasions, that should help even out the little color changes you have since you weren't available to see your derm doc for prescription creams.  Also a couple of light jessner's peels would do the same thing.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 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.