Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Great Chemical Burn of 2012: A Hate Story

**I've had a lot of  "why would you ever do this" reactions... please understand that it was an accident, you can read about it in the original post linked below :)**
How do you know that I love you? I'm putting pictures up of this whole chemical burn deal. If you MISSED THE ORIGINAL POST, head over to find out what happened. If you're too lazy (no judgement), basically I did an at-home chemical peel and kept it on for too long.
I should clarify: according to many (many, many) professional offices where chemical peels are performed, I didn't necessarily keep it on for too long, just too long for the desired results. See, I was trying to give myself a light chemical peel (which I've done for years) and instead gave myself more of a medium-deep chemical peel. Before we go any further- please understand that I'm not encouraging you to follow in my foolish footsteps. I took some criticism from a reader who unsubscribed, emailed AND commented because she was so angry about my post. I'm not encouraging you to have a chemical peel, whether in office or at home. I want to write this so that the women who DO end up looking like me post-peel can get an accurate idea of what to expect as well as some encouragement that it *will be ok*. I had several readers (and friends!) write in to tell me that they had the same results from a professional office, so I know that this happens often. I spent HOURS online and couldn't really find an honest approach to the post-chemical peel. Women were (rightfully) pretty shy about posting pictures.
Not me.
Don't get me wrong- I'm not super excited about sharing these rather ugly photos with the entire online community, but it's worth it. I would have been forever grateful to the woman who would have been willing to do the same. I was desperate to get a look at post-peel skin and see how it compared to my experience. You'll notice that I watermarked the photos. I generally don't do that, and I apologize if they get in the way a bit (I tried to minimize that), but there was no way I'd put these out without at least a link back to my site. I would hate for someone to just use them without a link back and for random people to have no back story on this horror-skin. People are mean, especially on the internet. That's my face! I have to defend it, haha. 
Remember that I was in Europe for this ordeal (brilliant, right?) so I didn't document it as well as I would have liked, but you can get a general idea. 
Ready? Let's walk through it. 
I performed the chemical peel (50% glycolic acid, 10 minutes) on Monday night at 9 pm. This is Tuesday morning, about twelve hours later.  To be honest, it actually looked worse in person. You can see areas where it was bleeding and the red dots are blisters that burst and also bled. The worst areas are a) bottom of my chin, b) spot next to my nose and c) mid-cheek. 
This was Thursday, just before we boarded our plane, so about 48-60 hours post-peel. It's beginning to get scaly and is super uncomfortable. I was literally slathering on aloe vera as this point. I used gel, but also bought the leaves from the store, cut them open and laid them flat on my face. I didn't wash it off, but let it stay in my skin. In fact, at this point I was moisturizing like crazy (every hour) and rarely washing my face (once per day, water). My skin felt really tight and cracked/bled when I laughed or smiled. Eating was really hard, too. 
Here I am Saturday at the wedding, about 5 days post-peel. In some photos you couldn't even tell (see left, holla!) that my skin was jacked up. On the right you can see a little bit of what was left. Still no makeup on my skin, except my nose (which I hadn't put acid on), lips and eyes. Peeling had begun, but was far from finished. Some people talk about the skin peeling off like snake skin, but I didn't have that experience. For me, it came off in chunks and was softer and not as crispy. Gross, I know. A lot of it came off in the shower, too. So showering was my favorite time of the day. I couldn't wait to get the skin off! My forehead, cheeks and chin were really patchy and still kind of crispy at this point. Less burned areas were softer as they peeled off.
This is Monday- one full week later. You can see a lot of really bright pink skin, which was underneath what peeled off. There are still big, bloody/crusted/scaly areas and spots (especially on my cheek and chin). You'll notice lots of red dots left over from the blisters, too. It has mostly healed at this point. Tons and tons and loads of sunscreen. 
And here we are the following Thursday (10 days later). Left is me, middle is John and right is Ewa. My skin is totally 100% better.
So now you've seen my little journey to healing. I've been wondering if I would ever be willing to do another deep peel. I think that answer would be "no". Even if I didn't have anywhere to be (Europe... rage) during the healing process, it just didn't seem to be worth it. I was trying to get a nice "glow" for the wedding as well as get rid of some old scarring. I would say that it did major damage to the scarring, but it also broke my skin out really badly. After the burn, I couldn't wash my face and had to pile on moisturizer. Not a good combo for me. I broke out really badly, especially in areas where I hadn't applied acid, so they were getting lots of moisture, plus zero face-washings for nothing. 
I would be willing to do light peels like I did in the past though (25-30% glycolic acid for a much shorter period of time), which did give me a nice glow with no down-time, peeling or risks of complications. Once again- not that I'm suggesting that you do peels at home, this is just my experience. 
If you missed the list of upcoming goodness inspired by our time overseas, here it is!
A. Beauty. I found some *amazing* beauty products over there that I can't wait to share with you!
B. Style. Of course...
C. Home. French magazine... items we saw on the street, there are some great DIYs as well as just elements to bring into our homes.
D. Face. The aftermath from the failed chem peel is over and I'm going to document the healing for you.
E. Travel. Tips for packing bags (and packing less) as well as what to wear on planes.
F. Food. Just a few of my favorite recipes from abroad! Fresh baguette, light + delicious pastas, just pure goodness.
G. Lifestyle. I love different cultures, we all have something to share with each other that can enrich our lives! America rocks, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from other countries.

That's it for today! I hope your week is going well. Until tomorrow, all the best and as always thanks for reading!



19 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this article. Good information. I just got a peel done for the first time and I have crusty scaly patches all over my face. Hopefully, it will go away soon.

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  2. Thank you for sharing! I just had a lactic acid peel 40% in a clinic and my skin has reacted badly :( in one patch it is completely raw and painful! Good to know it should heal up with no scarring. I don't even know if the therapist applied a neutralizer :S, I have had peels before but Glycolic and had no reaction.

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    1. How did it go, are you better now?

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  3. This was the reassurance I was looking for. Thank you

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    1. This is exactly why I wrote it! Please let me know how you heal up!

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  4. This was the reassurance I was looking for. Thank you.

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  5. How about a 'before' pic so there is something to compare the 'after' pics with?

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    1. I'm not sure what you mean? Before the peel? This is really more about encouraging people who end up with scary looking skin post peel, not the peel itself. I wouldn't recommend anyone do what I did - even professionally. Wasn't worth it! My skin looked the same essentially as it did before. I didn't take any before pictures because it was never intended to turn into that nightmare, trust me!

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  6. This is very encouraging. I had a 30% glycolic peel done 5 days ago and still have a pink discoloured patch on my chin. I'm very worried the skin will not go back to normal colour. Please help. What did u use to heal your skin ?

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    1. If you went to a clinic, perhaps you can show them and they can give you some guidance? I know my skin was still really awful 5 days in for sure!! I don't know if it helped or not, but I did slice fresh aloe leaves in half and lay them on my face a few times per day. Good luck! Let me know how you heal up :)

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  7. Thanks. Yes I went back to the skin clinic and she gave me some rose hip oil and vitamin e. It has gotten better since then. (Day 1 and 2 looked similar to your situation. Just on my chin ) but now at day 5 it's just pink. But scared the pink will stay like that :(

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  8. I went back to the skin clinic and she gave me some rose hip oil and vitamin e. My skin was similar to yours day 1 and 2 now it's just a pink discoloured area by my chin. I'm worried the pink is going to stay like that. I don't see much change. I started putting pure aloe leafs on my face today but was a little itchy and irritated after that.
    I really hope by 10 days this will heal. It's very stressing.

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  9. Hi! This is exactly what I'm looking for! I had my chemical peel at home 2days back ( I got my chemical peel solution from a friend whose working in a derma clinic) I experienced that frosting but didn't remove it immediatel, for few hours it was red and burning, and I know that I got burn in my cheeks and chin mostly. Now is the 2nd day, the one in my cheeks got dried already, and in my cheeks got somehow dried up and a crusty and tight feeling. I can't even open my mouth wide to a big bite food :( because it will gape and will start to bleed. And by the way I am applying MEBO ointment for burns 3-4x a day. I hope you'll be able to read my post. Thank you!

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  10. Hi! This is exactly what I'm looking for! I had my chemical peel at home 2days back ( I got my chemical peel solution from a friend whose working in a derma clinic) I experienced that frosting but didn't remove it immediately, for few hours it was red and burning, and I know that I got burn in my cheeks and chin mostly. Now is the 2nd day, the one in my cheeks got dried already, and in my ***chin got somehow dried up and a crusty and tight feeling. I can't even open my mouth wide to a big bite food :( because it will gape and will start to bleed. And by the way I am applying MEBO ointment for burns 3-4x a day. I hope you'll be able to read my post. Thank you!

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  11. I just had a professional peel done yesterday and they left me with burn marks!! I am so scared it will scar! I keep looking at this post reminding me it will be ok. I am keeping them moist.

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  12. I used a glycolic acid peel and rubbed pretty vigorously and it's been like this for a day, but more brownish-purple. What should I do? I've been putting Vaseline/aloe vera on it. I'm so scared it's going to be permanent but your post gave me hope. Any tips for the healing process? Please help. Thank you!

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  13. Hy Auna. It is somehow comforting to read your experience and to know that I'm not alone and things may turn out just fine. I had a Glycholic Peeling on Wednesday performed from my dermatologist. I was left with burns on my face, big area on the chin and several other patches all over my face. My face still burn now after 4 days and although I see that my skin is peeling, I'm really worried from scars, not to mention that the skin witch is under the peel is red and the texture is somehow different. My doctor told me not to worry because I will not be left with scars but honestly I don't trust him on knowing 100% what he does after this experience.
    I want to ask you if you were left with any kind of marks, change in color and texture after your skin healed from the burn.
    I would really appreciate if you could take 2 minto answer to me. I feel so depressed and angry.
    Wish you all the best. Simone

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    1. Hi Simone! I'm so sorry that you had a similar experience. By 2 weeks, my skin was totally normal again. It's such a scary thing! Prayerfully your skin will be back to normal soon as well. Please update me to let me know how it goes!

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