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postheadericon Chemical Peel Dangers

Do you have blemished aging skin? Skin peels can be very effective in this regard. However, there are some safety measures you should consider before have the procedure.

A chemical peel is a procedure designed to enhance the appearance of the skin through the application of a chemical solution. The solution causes the top layer to peel off and reveal the smoother skin beneath it. Most people who seek this treatment want to minimize wrinkles, fine lines and age spots that are indicative of older age. Chemical peels may also reduce the appearance of scars and brighten dull skin. Temporary side effects common to chemical peels include redness and a burning sensation. More serious side effects include scarring and permanent skin discoloration.

Burning Sensation

Light chemical peels, alphahydroxy acids (AHA), and medium chemical peels, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) cause a burning sensation when they contact the skin. This sensation occurs due to the peeling of the top layer of skin. The sensation is temporary and usually painless. Phenol, a deep chemical peel, produces a significant burning sensation that can last four to six hours. Physicians normally apply an analgesic to the affected skin following the procedure to relieve the pain, and may prescribe an oral pain reliever for the later use.

Redness

Redness normally occurs with all chemical peels, but the intensity in colour, and the amount of time it lasts, depends on the strength of the chemical peel. AHA’s produce little to no redness, while TCA’s result in pronounced redness that can last for weeks. Phenol peels cause a significant amount of redness that lasts for months.

Scarring

Scarring that results from a chemical peel isn’t common, but in patients who have a history of scarring, especially keloid scarring, it’s a possible side effect of chemical peels. Keloid scars are a raised skin growth over a damaged area of skin that can be aggravated by chemical peels.

Skin Discoloration

Phenol peels present a risk of a type of skin discoloration called hypopigmentation. Hypopigmentation is when the skin is noticeably lighter in certain areas due to a reduction of melanin. The skin discoloration may be temporary or permanent, and it is exacerbated by birth control pills, pregnancy following the peel and a family history of skin discoloration.

Arrhythmia

Phenol peels also carry a risk of myocardial irritability conditions, such as arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a heartbeat that falls out of the normal range of 50 to 100 beats per minute. This condition is associated with this type of peel because phenol can be absorbed into the skin. Once in the skin, the liver metabolizes the chemical and it is secreted by the kidneys. The toxicity in the body may affect the heart. Physicians attempt to prevent phenol toxicity by applying the chemical in sections of the face, allowing about 20 minutes to elapse between applications.