Post peel pigment problems – is there anything to do?

Hi, I had s TCA 25% chemical peel done (which looked nice right after) and a couple weeks later I took my son to the pool with 70 proof sunscreen (i think the sunscreen was bad) which caused my face to now have blotches of dark ( i think just spots that tanned) and little white spots all over. Should I get a lighter peel done to even back out the skin tones? Please tell me this is something that can be fixed it is extremely embarrassing. Thank You

I’m sad this happened to you –  I’m hoping they warned you about no sun exposure and it has to be a high zinc (10-20%) sunscreen for this post peel period.    The SPF doesn’t matter as long as it’s at least 30 because the SPF number only refers to the UVB coverage and a 30 (or greater) will get about 95% of the UVB.   You need the extra UVA protectionSunscreens with high zinc. 

Your question was should you get another peel (lighter) to even this out.  If any of these below apply, don’t even think about another peel yet:

  • You live anywhere where it’s sunny right now.  For example, if you live in New Zealand where it’s winter now, you might be fine.
  • You plan and need to be outside a fair amount with children, for sports, etc.
  • You have any skin type that tends to pigment with skin injury – darker skin of any type – mediterranian, east indian, middle eastern, asian, african –  peels can really cause problems unless done by an expert.

Please see a dermatologist, if you can!  While you are waiting to be seen, use very gentle products, a very gentle scrub only once a week, double sunscreen with 2 different high zinc sunscreens, cover with makeup and wear a hat.   It’s very possible another peel will make you worse, if not done very carefully and at the right time of year. 

Hope this helps,  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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