Reasons for burning sensation after peeling treatment for acne.

Q. Is burning sensation common after peeling treatment for acne?

Answered by
Dr. Atishay Bukharia
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 20, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 16, 2023

Hi doctor,

About 3 weeks ago, I was prescribed Retin-A 0.5 % and Acticlate for an unusual breakout on my forehead by my dermatologist. The anaesthetician who also took a look at my face recommended Glytone PA chemical peel to help treat some discoloration that the acne had caused. I went in to see her today and the peel she did initially cause extreme burning. I left the office with a little edema under both my eyes and by the end of the night, now, my skin looks like I have 2nd to 3rd-degree burning. But, it does not hurt. When I reached out to her and sent pictures, she said it was normal. She said there was no need to and that my skin would peel and heal in about 7 days. I look horrible and I am so afraid that I have permanently damaged my skin. I made an appointment with a different doctor tomorrow. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.



Welcome to

She is right, and these are common post-peel effects. By looking at your photos (attachment removed to protect patient identity), I can tell that in your condition medicines are very unlikely to effect and chemical peeling and lasers are the only options. Glycolic acid is considered a very safe peel. Ask her to use it from very low concentration and gradually increase the concentration so that the tolerance could develop against that peel. It requires three to four sessions at least to get the visible result. Always take post-peel precautions like avoid sun exposure, sunscreen, and emollients, in rare cases use Hydrocortisone if there is a frank injury. Exfoliation of skin is a normal event after the procedure; that is why it is known as peeling. So, I would advise you to stick to the same doctor and follow his or her advice.

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