Woman Emerges from Eyebrow Wax with Burns. Why Her Acne Medication Is to Blame (Exclusive)

Abbie O'Connor didn't realize her skin would react to eyebrow wax due to her medications

<p>Abbie O

Abbie O'Connor

Abbie O'Connor's regular brows (left), Abbie's brows after waxing on acne medication

A young woman is warning TikTok about her unexpected experience while getting her eyebrows done.

Abbie O'Connor, 18, didn't think twice about getting her eyebrows done. Weeks prior, however, she'd started a new acne medication, tretinoin, O'Connor, who goes by @abbieoc05 on TikTok, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"I went to get my eyebrows done for the first time in a while. It was immediately clear [something was wrong]," she says.

"It burnt more than normal, that's for sure. I've gotten my eyebrows waxed since I was 13. I'm 18 now. So I know what it regularly feels like, like a slight sting-type burn. This time, it was like big burn. I was so confused. It had been a while since I got them waxed, but I knew this was more than normal."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

<p>Abbie O'Connor</p> Abbie O'Connor 30 minutes after her eyebrow wax

Abbie O'Connor

Abbie O'Connor 30 minutes after her eyebrow wax

Related: Woman on the Verge of Tears Films Herself Desperately Trying to Not Ruin Spray Tan: 'Nothing Is More Real'

Abbie didn't even know it was a reaction to her acne medication at first.

"I didn't know it was the acne medication until I Googled it. That's just how I found out those two were connected. Other than that, I really had no prior knowledge."

"It's fairly new that I'm on this medication," she explains, sharing she started tretinoin in late January.

<p>Abbie O'Connor</p> Eyebrow recovery process

Abbie O'Connor

Eyebrow recovery process

When the red marks, "which looked like a second set of red eyebrows underneath my own," didn't clear up, Abbie knew the skin would need some extra attention.

"I got waxed like 30 minutes before I made my first TikTok about it," she says.

Commenters on the video, which has since amassed over 7 million views, were quick to criticize Abbie and her waxer for not being more educated on the medication.

"I did get a little bit flamed in the comment section, but I'm not worried about it," she says.

PEOPLE spoke with Dr. Kiran Mian, Medical and Aesthetic Dermatologist at Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery, who said that tretinoin isn't the only thing that can produce this reaction.

"Tretinoin, or any retinoid medication, can cause this type of burn from waxing. Retinoids increase skin cell turnover. The way they do that is by making our skin cells less adhesive or sticky. This is why the skin can become more sensitive to the pulling sensation associated with waxing, causing skin to get removed or denuded more easily," she explains.

"'Retinized' skin is also more sensitive to exfoliating agents like chemical peels or lasers — the skin comes off more easily."

Dr. Mian warns that anyone using retinoid medications should exercise caution when waxing, microneedling, facials, or laser treatments, especially if they regularly use them.

"I recommend my patients stop using their retinoid one week before a scheduled chemical peel or laser treatment. This ensures the skin will not be extra sensitive, the chemical peel will not penetrate more deeply than desired, and settings of the laser won't be too strong for the skin," she says.

"Skin on retinoids can be a bit unpredictable in terms of sensitivity, so taking a one-week break from a topical retinoid is best before these procedures. This includes laser hair removal, IPL, laser facials, or even microneedling."

<p>Abbie O'Connor</p> Abbie used Aquaphor to help with her recovery

Abbie O'Connor

Abbie used Aquaphor to help with her recovery

When it came to recovering, Abbie felt she could "manage it myself."

"It didn't take that long to go away. At first I was like, 'Okay, maybe it's not a burn,' but it definitely was a burn, the way it hurt. I documented it over a week. It took seven days for it to heal over and the marks to fade."

Many commenters could identify with Abbie's situation, saying they'd been through the same.

"So many people commented, 'Me too, girlie,' or 'I learned this the hard way,'" she says. "I was shocked by how many people identified with it."

While the support was comforting, a few horror stories were hard to stomach.

"It made me feel better when people would tell me it took a week or two to heal, but at the same time, some stories scared me too. Some people are like, 'Oh, it scarred me for the rest of my life. It still hasn't healed after 10 years,' but those situations seem very rare. So it was mostly positive and supportive feedback."

<p>Abbie O'Connor</p> Abbie's eyebrows recovering

Abbie O'Connor

Abbie's eyebrows recovering

Abbie's not entirely unfamiliar with going viral, but says this video is her most viewed by far.

"I had a video go viral for something funny a few years ago, but something so relatable like this is different. It was crazy that it blew up so much and there were so many commenters. I also had people reach out by DM to say, 'Hey, this happened to me too. This is what I think you should do.' "

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.