Chemical peeling has been around for a long time to treat various skin diseases. Sun spots, wrinkles, and rough pigmentations may be treated with this method. In some conditions, chemical peeling procedure may be combined with other operations. However, chemical skin peeling procedure should not be seen as an alternative method to skin tightening.
Are there risks or complications related to chemical skin peeling?
Although most of them are not encountered commonly, there are some risks and complications related to chemical skin peeling:
- Infection: This is seen rarely. Bacterial and viral infections may occur. If the patient has a history of herpes around the mouth, the infection has a risk of recurrence after chemical peeling. Some special treatments are recommended to suppress these infections. If a skin infection has developed, then the additional treatment must include an antibiotic.
- Scarring: Although normal healing is expected, abnormal scarring may occur on the skin and the deeper tissues. Rarely, keloids may form as well. Scars have an ugly appearance and their color is different from the surrounding normal skin. Additional treatments will be needed for scar treatment.
- Discoloration: Chemical peeling agents have a permanent effect on skin color towards turning it into a lighter shade. Therefore, there is a possibility of darker and lighter color changes. Permanent darkening may occur after chemical peeling. There may be a line between the normal and the treated skin. Chemical peeling may also lead to a long term redness.
- Poor results: The treatment may end up with poor results: Skin peeling and skin treatment methods may results in visible deformities, skin crusting, functional loss and permanent color changes in the skin.
- Recurrence of skin lesions: In some conditions, skin lesions may recur after chemical peeling. Additional treatment or a second application may be necessary.
- Allergic reactions: In some rare cases, allergies may develop against topical preperations, surgical suture materials, and adhesive tapes. More serious systemic reactions may also develop during the procedure, or afterwards against the drugs used. Allergic reactions may necessitate additional treatment.
- Sun burns: Some chemical peeling agents may render the skin more sensitive to the harmful effects of the sun. Chemical peeling leads to the decline of the normal tanning capability of the skin.
- Temporary results: Chemical peeling does not prevent future wrinkles. These methods cannot change the signs of aging. Additional surgical treatments may be needed to tighten the relaxed skin. Continuing the skin care programs may be needed after the chemical peeling operation.
- Delayed healing: Recovery after chemical peeling procedure may take longer than expected. The skin gets thinner as it heals, and may be damaged easily.
- Heart problems: Chemical peeling agents are reported to possibly cause heart abnormalities. In such conditions, medical treatment may be necessary during the procedure.
- Unknown risks: There is the possibility of the presence of additional risk factors of chemical skin peeling.
- Surgical anesthesia: Both local and general anesthesia carry risks. Complication, injury, or even death may be seen in all forms of sedation or surgical anesthesia.
- Need for additional treatments or surgery: There are various conditions that affect the long-term outcomes of chemical skin peeling or other skin treatments. Complications and risks occur rarely. The major risks and complications are as stated above, other complications are extremely rare. Additional surgery or other treatments may be needed when complications arise.