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Suggest treatment for sensitive skin after using Mandelic acid serum

Nov 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5570 Questions
I have a question regarding the nerves in my face. For about 3 weeks in March, I was using a salicyclic acid toner and a mandelic acid serum. No adverse reactions. Then on the third week, I scrubbed my face with a clarasonic face brush. I really went to town on my face and scrubbed it, forgetting that I have been using the serum. I got an intense burning feeling from the scrubbing.
Now for the past 4 months, the skin where I aggressively scrubbed is extremely sensitive. At first I couldn't sleep with my face on the pillow. One night I got caught out in the rain and that even stung my face. I can't use any products on the skin. However, there is no redness or anything visible.
I will be at work and it will start burning or throbbing or pins and needles for no reason. It comes and goes through out the day but mostly constant. I also have not been wearing any make-up or using anything harsh since March when I did that.
I went to my primary and she prescribed my gabapentin and said it can take 6-12 months for nerves to recover. My derm said maybe I should see a neurologist to see what they say. Maybe I did something to the superficial nerves in my face and needs to heal.
Do you agree with this? It has ready been over 4 months.
Does this sound like something I can recover from? Can you really disrupt nerves by this way? Also can a neurologist test nerves in the face? How about superficial ones?

I appreciate your help.
Posted Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
You seem to be on correct treatment.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for posting your query.

I have gone through your details and I agree with your doctor's approach.

The symptoms are suggestive of damage to superficial nerves in the skin over face. The recovery time for the same varies but it may range from 6-12 months.

It is possible to test the nerves on the face, by doing nerve conduction studies. Also, a clinical examination by testing touch sensations (with cotton), pain sensation (with a pin) and temperature sensation (with hot and cold water) would be helpful. Any loss or decrease in sensation to the above may suggest a more severe damage of nerves, delaying the recovery. However, if there is no loss of sensation, then, recovery would be faster.

So, as of now, you can continue the medicines.

Wishing you speedy recovery,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for sensitive skin after using Mandelic acid serum 17 minutes later
Can nerves cause hypersensitivity of the skin? Because that is what I am feeling. Can't use any skincare products. Pain comes and goes. Can damaged nerves cause skin hypersensitivity?
Also can a symptom also be sensitive to sun? I just feel like my nerves are exposed and everything hurts it.

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back.

Yes, the nerve damage to sensory nerves (which provide sensation to the skin) can cause hypersensitivity. These are called paresthesia, dysesthesia, etc. Symptoms include pain or tingling on touch, with breeze, etc.

Also, getting exposed to sun or extreme cold may exacerbate the symptoms.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for sensitive skin after using Mandelic acid serum 11 hours later
Thank you for getting back to me. Will taking vitamin b12 help. And if so, which kind of b 12? I know there are a couple types.

Thanks .
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, B12 would help.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back.

Taking vitamin B12 supplements would help in nerve regeneration. The most preferred is mecobalamin (methyl-cobalamin) as compared to hydroxy- or cyan-cobalamin.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for sensitive skin after using Mandelic acid serum 27 hours later
Hi Dr.
I just have one more question. How does someone know their nerves are healing? When the hypersensitivity is starting to lessen? Or can a neurologist track that as well?

Again, thank you for your time and I appreciate your answers.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, based on improvement in hypersensitivity.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back.

Yes, one can get an understanding of the improvement based on the reduction in hypersensitivity and pain.

There are no tests one can do on face to track this improvement.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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