Q. Can microdermabrasion and glycolic acid peel make my skin look darker?

Answered by Dr. Ashwini V Swamy and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Hello doctor,

I am very much worried about my skin color. I have taken two sittings of microdermabrasion and two sittings of glycolic acid peel. But, I am not able to see any change and that too my skin looks darker. Would it be a chemical peel side effect? Now I am using branded face wash and sunscreen in the morning and skin whitening cream during bedtime.

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Dr. Ashwini V Swamy
Dermatology, Venereology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Microdermabrasion and chemical peel are the procedures to improve skin texture. They exfoliate the damaged superficial layer of skin, there by lightening the hyperpigmentation on the skin.

This removes the dead cells in the skin, facilitating the new layer of cells to grow. After the procedure, the key is to use sunscreen round the clock, every four hours. This is because skin needs to be protected from UV rays when it is recovering. UV rays are not only from sun but also from tube lights, TV screen and computer monitor.

Once applied, sunscreen protects skin for four hours, hence should be applied every four hours for optimal protection.

Now talking about expectations from these cosmetic procedures. They do help to lighten the skin a bit, but, the main purpose of these procedures is to improve the texture, remove the dark pigmentation. This will take minimum four to five sittings to see improvement in skin texture provided proper after care measures are followed like protection from UV rays.

I personally explain my patients that it is not skin whitening treatment, because the colour of an individual is genetically programmed. I do not want you to get disheartened. I can totally sense your concern dear, but this is the fact. You will get back your original colour after the procedure, which may be one or two shades lighter than your pre-procedure skin colour.

The procedure per say can't make your skin darker, if you have used sunscreen properly as advised by your Dermatologist. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and keep your body hydrated to have a healthy skin.

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

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