What to do if you have an allergic reaction to a chemical peel
Chemical peels are popular for a reason; they are a minimally invasive treatment that’s sure to provide glowing results for your skin. Chemical peels treat a variety of skin issues including acne, aging and sun damage. Although the benefits are numerous, there is a risk of side effects, including allergic reactions. What should you do if you have an allergic reaction to a chemical peel?
An allergic reaction to a chemical peel is usually mild, but can vary depending on the severity of the allergy. Mild symptoms include redness, swelling and itching of the treated skin. Severe reactions, though rare, may result in difficulty breathing, hives or even anaphylaxis. If you have an allergic reaction to a chemical peel, quick action is essential to minimize the effects. You should seek medical attention right away, but there are also some steps you can take at home to prevent further discomfort.
For mild allergic reactions, you can usually treat the symptoms at home.
- Rinse the affected area with cool water to remove any residual chemicals. Cool water will also soothe the skin.
- Use a cold compress to reduce redness and swelling. If you don’t have a cold compress or ice handy, a bag of frozen vegetables will work.
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve itching and swelling.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing the area. This can make the reaction worse or even damage the skin.
In the event of a more severe reaction, or if your symptoms worsen or do not improve, seek medical attention immediately.
- Your doctor may prescribe topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines to relieve symptoms like itchiness, tingling or swelling.
- In especially severe reactions, you may need to be admitted for observation and treatment until your reaction subsides.
Don’t let the risk of an allergic reaction deter you from a chemical peel. Preventing an allergic reaction starts with choosing a reputable doctor who is experienced and trained in providing chemical peels. A good doctor will review your medical history, medications and allergies to determine which chemical peel is suited to you. A patch test should also be performed prior to the full peel to ensure your skin tolerates the acid well.
Dr. Kevin I. Perman has been performing chemical peels for years, and will work with you to ensure a chemical peel is suited for your skin and your skincare goals. Call (301) 571-0000 to find out what a chemical peel can do for you.