Salicylic Acid Peeling Side Effects: Watch Out! (Know The Facts Before You Peel)

Have you ever thought about trying a salicylic acid chemical peel at home?

Are you interested in learning how to do this safely without risking side effects?

Did you know there are a few common side effects you should be concerned with if you give it a try?

In this article, we’ll teach you all about the most common salicylic acid peeling side effects you may encounter. You’ll learn what to expect if this happens to you, how to tell it’s a problem, and how it may be treated, too.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll be well on your way to a better and more solid understanding of the potential risks associated with this type of peel. So let’s get started!

Redness and Itching

salicylic acid peeling

What is it?

This side effect is one of the most common related to salicylic acid peels. Almost everyone will notice some redness, but it should go away in a few hours. If it doesn’t, or if it starts to itch more over time, you should speak to your dermatologist. Some slight itching is normal.

What causes it?

Some people are allergic to salicylic acid. If this is true of you, the allergy will cause this reaction. Others may simple feel these side effects from the product penetrating into the skin.

How long does it last?

It should last no more than a few hours up to a day. If it lasts longer than this, speak to your dermatologist.

How is it treated?

Most of the time, it will fade without any treatment. If you have a severe allergic reaction, you may need something like a topical ointment or even oral steroids to get rid of the reaction, depending on how severe it is.

How do you know if you need medical assistance?

If the problem doesn’t go away quickly or worsens, you need medical assistance.

Flaking and Peeling

salicylic acid peeling side effects

What is it?

You may notice flaking and peeling for quite some time after the chemical peel has been applied, since this is what the product is designed to do. Your skin will flake off much like it would after suffering from a bad sunburn, but healthy, vibrant skin should be exposed underneath after this.

What causes it?

This is generally caused by the product working the way it is supposed to. However, in some rare instances, this could also be caused by an allergic reaction to the product, which means you’ll need more medical treatment.

How long does it last?

Flaking may being as quickly as a few hours after the treatment has been completed and it may continue for up to a week after the peel has been done. Remember, this is just the peel working the way it’s supposed to, and as long as you’re not also suffering from any pain or any of the other side effects listed here, there’s nothing to be worried about.

How is it treated?

Normally, this is treated by just letting it finish the process. If you peel from an allergic reaction, however, you may need a topical ointment to help.

How do you know if you need medical assistance?

If the peeling and flaking doesn’t stop after about a week, if it worsens over time, or if it is accompanied by pain, bleeding, itching, breakouts, or scarring, you need medical assistance.

Breakouts

salycic acid chemical peel

What is it?

Breakouts can occur as part of any facial skin care treatment. They may appear like an acne breakout, or you may have a breakout that’s more like hives, depending on the type and severity of the problem.

What causes it?

Acne breakouts from skin care treatments are caused by your skin being acne-prone already. When you use a chemical peel, it draws toxins to the surface of your skin, and your pores may become more clogged than usual. If you’re already prone to acne, this will lead to breaking out. Hives breakouts are caused by allergic reactions.

How long does it last?

You may notice a breakout for up to a few weeks after the treatment. More chemical peels will help you treat this problem in the long run. If the breakout is from hives, it should go away in a few days in most situations.

How is it treated?

Acne breakouts are treated with gentle face washes and subsequent chemical peel treatments. Hives may require topical ointments or oral steroids depending on their severity.

How do you know if you need medical assistance?

If you are broken out in patches of rash or in small, raised red bumps that don’t have a head like acne does, you should speak to your dermatologist, because you are likely breaking out from an allergic reaction.

Scarring

salycic acid chemical peel effects

What is it?

Sometimes, scarring can occur when you try a chemical peel, especially if the peel is too strong or if you leave it on your face too long. This is a very rare side effect of chemical peeling, but it is possible.

What causes it?

This side effect is caused by leaving the chemical on your face too long and allowing it to penetrate too deeply into your second layer of skin. If you have an allergic reaction to the peel, you may notice scarring from this as well. It can also be caused by picking your peeling skin as it heals.

How long does it last?

Scars will last until you have a subsequent chemical peel to treat them or until you deal with them using another skin care treatment method.

How is it treated?

There are many options out there for treating scarring on your face. Further peels may be enough to get the job done, but you may also want to try Botox, laser treatments, skin tightening, or some other option out there if your scarring is very severe or if you’re opposed to further chemical peels.

How do you know if you need medical assistance?

You will not need immediate medical assistance from scarring, but you will need to speak to your dermatologist in the future if you notice anything like this happening after your peel.

Conclusion

There are many potential side effects associated with salicylic acid peeling. Although this is a relatively gentle type of peel, it’s still got the potential to cause some trouble, especially if you don’t perform it the correct way. For this reason, you should always make sure you know exactly what you’re doing before you get started working with an at-home peel of any type, regardless of the strength. A little research can go a long way toward ensuring the best possible outcome from any type of at home skin care treatment you choose to try.

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