How can I get rid of a mark left from cream to get rid of facial hair?
July 3, 2012 9:02 AM   Subscribe

I have been using depilatory cream on my upper lip. A few weeks ago, I must have left it on too long because it left a mark, I guess it's a burn. It looks like a shadow and it's dark! It's horrible- now I have what looks like a moustache right where a moustache would be! Will this ever go away? Is there anything I can do to make it go away? Is there anything a doctor could do? Would a chemical peel help? If there's nothing that can be done, what's the best way to cover it? I've been using foundation, but it still shows through somehow.
posted by shelayna to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This happened to me once. I kept it clean and dry, and only put Vitamin E oil on it. Went away within a week. I suspect that either you have a really bad burn - in which case you need to see a doctor/derm, or that putting makeup on it is keeping it from healing and peeling.

On the other hand, it's possible that after a few weeks what you know have isn't a needing-to-be-healed burn mark so much as a scar. I have no experience with chemical peels or anything like that, so hopefully someone else will weigh in.
posted by sm1tten at 9:14 AM on July 3, 2012

It may be post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Try using vitamin e oil on it every evening. You can buy vitamin e capsules and prick them with a pin then squeeze the oil out on to the scarred area. In the future, I think that the sooner you start this, the better. You might also have used some sort of scar gel. Or you can also try using some of the many lotions and serums that target pigmentation or "dark spots." I don't really have any recommendations there. Maybe try going to Sephora?

Most importantly, now and in the future, you want to make sure that keep the area adequately covered in sunscreen. I once worked with a woman, a nurse even, who insisted upon tanning in the summer. She also used a depilatory cream on the upper lip. She got a "tan" of hyperpigmentation in the same area. I imagine the two were related if only in that the depilatory makes your skin more sensitive.

You might try covering it with a mineral foundation. Honestly I don't generally like Bare Minerals, but I sometimes use it for spot coverage because it seems to cover things that cream concealers can't.
posted by kaybdc at 9:16 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

See a doctor. I have burned myself with depilatories, but the burns always healed within a week or so.

A chemical peel seems like exactly the wrong thing to do. Doctor.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:16 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I second post inflammatory hyperpignmentation. No chemical peels! Sunscreen and gentleness recommended. The good news is that the hyperpigmentation will resolve itself, the bad news is it could take a while (couple weeks to a year according to my dermatologist). Your best bet is to not aggravate it any further.
posted by Katine at 9:29 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

I also think it's hyperpigmentation. There is some stuff made with koijic acid called Pigment Bar. It's made by a company called PCA. I would put it on for an hour each night and see how you do. Use the Vitamin E during the day and the rest of the time.
posted by superfille at 9:58 AM on July 3, 2012

I had this happen before; it went away in a week. I put some vitamin E/aloe gel on it. I also wore sunscreen (the visible kind), as I heard that the sun can darken that type of pigmentation.
posted by bluefly at 10:14 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sorry, hit post too soon.

I would talk to your dermatologist before doing any other type of treatment. For covering it up, it depends on the color of the scar. For me, using a green concealer helps because my scar had a reddish undertone. For everyday blemishes, I use a regular concealer.
posted by bluefly at 10:38 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Vitamin E oil, you can buy it in the drugstore. It is cheap, and great stuff for skin care of all kinds. My doctor recommended it when I had some skin lesions removed, and there were no scars or discoloration. To be safe though see your doctor before you do anything more drastic like a skin peel. Sunscreen on the area is probably a good idea too to keep it from getting worse.
posted by mermayd at 11:04 AM on July 3, 2012

Agreed it sounds like hyperpigmentation - stay out of the sun, use sunblock, see a doctor, etc. I know someone who is prone to upper-lip hyperpigmentation and I don't even think it's depilatory-related in her case, but if she gets any sun she gets a mustachey-looking tan.
posted by mskyle at 11:59 AM on July 3, 2012

I had something similar happen to my hand when I accidentally got a chemical burn from stove cleaner (oops). My doctor proscribed Clobetasol Propionate Ointment and it still took over a month to go away. Do not get a chemical peel- it will hurt like hell and make it worse.

To cover it up, I would go straight for pro makeup. Ben Nye's "Coverette Cover-up" has a lot of pigment in it and is kind of oily so it blends in. Put it on under foundation then set it with translucent powder.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 3:44 PM on July 3, 2012

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