Can Chemical Peels Cause Cancer?


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Chemical peels have been used for years to help people feel better about their skin, but not all chemical peels are created equal. In addition to looking for the best chemical peel, people should also be looking for the safest chemical peel. The Center for Environmental Health has concerns about the safety of certain procedures, and not everyone is taking them seriously.

But first, what is a chemical peel? A chemical peel is a procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. Between one day and two weeks later, depending on the solution, the dead skin peels off, leaving fresh, new skin underneath. Chemical peels are usually performed at salons and spas, along with services like botox injections and laser hair removal.

The types of chemical peels vary based on the chemicals used and how deeply they penetrate the skin. Superficial chemical peels usually use glycolic acid or dry ice, take only a few minutes to complete, and require no down time.
Medium chemical peels utilize trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and cause a second-degree burn to the face. The procedure usually takes about 40 minutes to complete, and while the customer may experience some pain while the peel is on, once the procedure is done, the pain goes away.
The deepest peels used to treat deep wrinkles and long-term sun damage require surgery, and can take as long as two weeks to heal.

So what’s the fuss about chemical peels? According to the Center for Environmental Health and several other organizations, TCA is a carcinogen, so the people getting TCA peels are putting themselves at risk. TCA has been designated a known cancer-causing chemical in the state of California, and the state requires manufacturers to label it so that consumers are aware. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency also list the chemical as a possible carcinogen.

Fortunately, there are options for people who want to treat their skin without putting themselves at risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. The best chemical peels for these people use glycolic or salicylic acids. Microdermabrasion is another good option for removing dead skin without the use of any chemicals. As always, consumers are encouraged to research the options and find the one that is best for them. Find out more at this site.

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