Q. My face is red and inflamed after a chemical peel I did myself. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Kakkar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 13, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

Five weeks ago, I did a much too deep Jessner and a 30 % TCA combination peel myself. I swelled so much 24 hours after the peel that my eyes almost shut. Yes, this was a terrible mistake. My face is still red, but slowly resolving and I have been keeping it constantly moist and have been using aloe to reduce inflammation. I have two areas on either side of my forehead that are starting to worry me. When my skin first peeled they were quite deep red, not bleeding, but almost like a road rash. The rest of my skin was red but not a deep red. These areas healed quickly but now are forming a different texture from the rest of my skin. I can feel the texture difference to the touch. I believe they are starting to form scars. So my question is, Is there anything that I can do to reduce or prevent the scar formation? I have read that massaging the area aggressively helps break down the excess collagen formation, which is what I have been doing (with my fingers), but now the area appears red and irritated from the massage. Before massaging the area, it was not red or irritated. I can definitely see a texture difference. Should I continue with the massage to try to prevent the scar tissue from forming or is this making things worse? Any help would be appreciated. I live in a country where it takes months of waiting to see a dermatologist. I wish I could just walk into an office tomorrow. Please help.

#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through your query and viewed the images (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • Yes, there is redness on the side of the forehead. Redness from a deep peel can stay for months.
  • Instead of a massage, I suggest you use a topical steroid cream, preferably a moderately potent topical steroid such as either Fluticasone propionate 0.05 %, Triamcinolone acetonide 0.1 %, Mometasone furoate 0.1 %, or Betamethasone valerate 0.1 % if you can get those. These are prescription steroids. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and start using the medicines with their consent.
  • However, if you cannot get these, you may still find an OTC (over the counter) topical steroid cream like Cortisone cream. Use it twice daily for two weeks and then follow up with me.

Regards.

Revert after two weeks to a dermatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

Will 1 % Hydrocortisone (OTC) be effective?

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Try using Hydrocortisone 1 % for a week and let me know. I think that it should be enough as much as I can make out from the images.

Regards.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

When I massaged the areas today, they became very red and irritated. Should I avoid massaging or is this recommended to reduce scarring?

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Avoid massaging. I do not see any obvious scarring in these images. The area is flat.
  • Moreover persistent or long-term erythema is a well-known side effect of deeper peels which usually goes away with time and with some help from topical steroids. Topical steroids are vasoconstrictors and therefore help reduce the redness.

Regards.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist


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