Obagi Blue Peel Side Effects

is the blue peel safe or are there side effects i should be careful of?

Doctor Answers 7

Complications following an Obagi Blue Peel: What to ask your physician

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As with any chemical peel, there are complications that you should be aware of. These complications largely depend on two factors:
  • The depth of a peel
  • The patient's skin type and complexion
Complications of a peel include, but are not limited to:
  • Discoloration
  • Scarring
  • Prolonged healing
  • Uneven skin color
  • Herpetic outbreak
In most cases, however, proper planning and adherence to a strict protocol, like that observed at our Kare Skin Health Clinic, deters from a high complication rate.

We initiate most patients on Melarase creams after Obagi Blue peels to reduce any discoloration risk.

Peel safety

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The blue peel is extremely safe. Your skin needs to be properly prepared for the best results. It takes at least six weeks to prepare your skin for the peel. You need to have an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these peels routinely.

Complications are rare but possible

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Blue Peel is one of the safest available for skin rejuvanation. However medicine is not an exact science and results are sometimes variable. Occasionally, there is no improvement and another form of treatment may be required.

Due to the nature of the peel, complications ususally sen with deeper peels, such as keloids or scarring is possible but unlikely to occur. Infection due to bacterial contamination or viral outbreak may occur. Temporary mild pigmentation problems may occur and can usually be corrected using the Obagi Nu-Derm System. Long term complications resulting from the peel are rare.

Blue Peel

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The Blue Peel is a 15 - 25% TCA (tricholoroacetic acid) peel, safe if done properly.

Deaths can occur when pain from the peel causes high blood pressure/arrhythmias.

I prefer a single application of 30% TCA. It hurts less. To do a TCA/Blue Peel safely:

1. Oral sedation, eg. 5 mgm  valium, 5 mg oxycodone before, ride home after.

2. Marcaine injection nerve blocks + continuous blood pressure monitoring

3. Apply peel to forehead. Cool with fan. BP will rise 20-30 mm Hg.

4. Look for mid-level frost of skin. When BP returns to normal, treat next area. 

Done this way, TCA peels are safe and results are good to outstanding.


Are Obagi Blue Peels Safe?

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When properly administered, Obagi Blue Peels are extremely safe. As with any procedure, the results and risks of side effects are minimized by being treated by an experienced physician. However, all procedures have risks of side effects although an Obagi Blue Peel is considered to be quite safe. I recommend carefully choosing an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon for this procedure.

Obagi Blue Peel side effects are same with any TCA Peel

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Side effects from the Blue Peel are the same as those seen from any TCA peel. The side effects include: pain, redness, peeling, sores, infection, pigmentary changes and flare of herpes simplex.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Peel Side Effects

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It is important to understand that a Blue Peel is a deeper layer peel. These are significantly different than the peels you can purchase over the counter. In our office San Francisco area office they are administered only by the plastic sugeons.

With these stronger peels you can have any of the following (which Dr. Karamanoukian has summarized quite well):

Herpetic outbreak
Uneven penetration of the agent
Uneven skin depigmentation or peeling

Be sure that you are under the care of a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

I hope this helps.

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.