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Permanent damage from glycolic acid?
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Permanent damage from glycolic acid?

I started a new AHA skin regime about 2 weeks ago-it consisted of a cleanser, 12% glycolic acid solution souffle, and a moisturizer with spf15. I did a patch test under my ear with the souffle as directed for 3 days with no adverse reaction, so I excitedly started the products. I ended up applying a total of 9 applications(4 morning and evenings and 1 morning).I was noticing no adverse reaction until the 5th morning when I did my routine, and then ran outside to help my daughter with some things- all I remember is my face burning so bad.I commented many time to my children how much my face burned! I came in about 30 min. later and washed my face with cold water. Later on in the day, I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror and to my horror, the fine lines that had started under my eyes this summer(which is another reason I was so excited about this product!)looked like they had been drawn under my eyes with red pencil and to top that off, they were fine lines no more, they were profound WRINKLES!!As I was ready preparing for a childs birthday party the next day, I had little time to devout to my appearance at that time, but by the next day my under eye area looked dry, wrinkly and puckery.It looks like I am 80 years old!!!I contacted a dermatologist and was given the advice to stop all the products and start applying Aquaphor to the area until it heals(I was told the damage was not permanent). Anyway, here I sit 13 days completely off of any type of AHA product-I cleanse with Neutrogna Foaming Wash and apply the Aquaphor or Cediphyl when I am going somewhere as I don't want to be shining at everyone!!! I am absolutely sick over this, it is all I think about and stare at myself in the mirror all the time. The skin under my eyes looks thinner, hollower,and more worn and wrinkly. The absolute hardest part to deal with is whenever I smile my previous fine line are etched in wrinkles and now even have some crows feet jetting off of them, and right about my cheek bone my skin like puckers before even hitting the new wrinkles. I look ridiculios and about 20 years older. When my face has no expression it looks OK, but if I even turn my lips outward, the puckering and horrific wrinkles just jump out of my face.Did I do permanent damage to the collegen and elastin in my skin? How does skin heal from damage such as this, or is my best bet a plastic surgeon?Is 13 days to far gone and this is what I am stuck with at the age of 37? The only progress I want to mention, is in the under eye area when I first stopped this products, I had-to the touch- very hard areas, especially in the fine lines and the skin surrounding it, which has softened and gone away however leaving me with 57 year old wrinkles!! I also want to mentions since being off the products, I have found out that I am pregnant and don't know if this is hindering any potential progress or more importantly the glycolic acid could have had any effect on the fetus. I am just sick over all this-HELP
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Glycolic acid has too superficial an effect to cause any real damage, and no chance at all of causing permanent damage, even if it's used as a 30% peel, which is permitted for use even by estheticians not working under medical supervision.  What you are seeing as wrinkles has to be just dryness of the face, which will go away by itself.  The glycolic acid will not affect your fetus either, even if you were pregnant while you used it.  You have nothing to worry about, and you certainly don't need surgery.

Allergic or other reactions to self-administered glycolic acid are uncommon.  You should check with a skin doctor about any other ingredients which in the product which may have been at fault.  There also may be medicated skin creams which will return your face to normal faster, but you should be just fine.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
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