If someone uses too powerful of an acid exfoliant, uses it too regularly, or keeps it on for too long, it might result in a chemical burn on the face. Ingredients like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid are found in acid exfoliants.

These acids are a subclass of compounds known as beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) (BHAs). Although they are common elements in skin care products, using them incorrectly might harm the skin.

This harm might be the consequence of the acid burning your skin, according to a reliable source. Damage from UV rays is another potential factor, since AHAs and BHAs make skin more sensitive to the sun and increase the likelihood of sunburn.

Other causes of burn-like sensations include irritability or an allergic response. The product’s acids may or may not be responsible for these symptoms.

In this post, we describe what to do in the event that skin care products burn you chemically. We discuss techniques for treatment and prevention and clarify when to seek medical attention.

First aid

Chemical burns are skin sores brought on by a chemical that is very acidic or alkaline. Certain skin care items or procedures could be acidic enough to result in one.

Anyone who uses a skin care product and has any pain should not try to leave the product on their skin. Pain and burning are not indications that a product is performing as intended. Instead, they are warning indicators of skin damage.

Chemical burn signs and symptoms include:

a burning or inflamed feeling on the skin, pain, numbness, blistering, or peeling
After using a skin care product, anybody experiencing any of these symptoms should take off any contaminated clothes and wash their skin for 20 minutes with clean running water. Avoiding coming into touch with the runoff water is crucial.

A person may accomplish this by leaning their head over a sink, bath, or shower basin and then sprinkling water from a jug if the product is on their face. They might also use a showerhead as an alternative.

After properly cleansing the skin, it is advised to see a physician. To treat chemical burns, doctors do not advise using systemic treatments like antibiotics or steroids. To avoid infection, they could instead choose to provide a topical antibiotic or a weak steroid cream.

It is essential to visit the emergency room of the closest hospital if the burn is serious.

Repairing a chemical burn caused by skin care

A person must take action to allow the skin to recover after receiving burn treatment. These might include:

keeping skin fresh
Avoid using any items that can irritate you.
adding petroleum jelly and a topical medicine to keep the injured region moist
keeping out of the sun and keeping an eye out for indications of infection in the wound
Telling a doctor whose product caused the burn might be beneficial. If at all feasible, the patient should bring the product or ingredient label to the doctor. They may provide advice on the best ways to take care of the skin as it recovers as well as which products to use and which to avoid.

How may using skin care products result in a burn?

Acids are an ingredient in certain skin care products that exfoliate the face by liquefying the top layer of oil and skin cells. With a pH of about 4, the majority of over-the-counter (OTC) products containing these acids are ineffective. This is comparable to the skin’s naturally slightly acidic pH.

However, there are other products that are stronger, notably chemical peels. These harsher peels are typically only performed by trained experts, however some individuals may try to utilize them at home.

A person may also overuse a product of weak or moderate strength, which may also cause skin harm.

The following list of skin care chemicals may result in burns or symptoms similar to burns.


A series of acids known as AHAs exfoliate the skin. When it comes to:

reducing wrinkles and creases
enhancing surface tone and texture
open clogged pores
enhancing skin health
However, they may have unfavorable consequences, including:

burning \sblistering \speeling


Another kind of acid with somewhat different characteristics from AHAs is called a BHA. Since it may open up pores, salicylic acid is one of the most often used ingredients in acne treatments. Additionally, it might be included in topical remedies for:

an oily rash warts
Seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis
With concentrations ranging from 0.5% to 30%, salicylic acid is available in a number of different forms. Higher amounts may cause burning, stinging, or irritation, which may appear as:

extremely heated skin, flushing, or discolouration

Other causes of symptoms similar to burns

Other forms of burns or symptoms like a burn may also be brought on by the substances in certain skin care products, in addition to chemical burns. These consist of:

Retinol burn

Forms of vitamin A known as retinoids include retinol. Although they may result in what some people refer to as “retinol burn,” they are included in many skin care products. Retinol burn is not a genuine chemical burn like burns from acids; rather, it is a kind of skin irritancy.

Retinoid irritation symptoms might include:

inflammation or discolouration, stinging or bleeding, or swelling
Retinol burn may occur when using retinoids for the first time, continuously, or at excessive concentrations. Sometimes the symptoms improve as the skin becomes used to the cream, but it’s crucial to see a dermatologist if they don’t.


Skin sensitivity to UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds is increased by AHAs and BHAs. This effect is also shown by retinoids.

As a result, using these components followed by sun exposure might result in a burn. This may be avoided by using sunscreen every day for the duration of the therapy and for a week after. It may be necessary for a while after chemical peels for patients to completely avoid UV exposure.

Sunburn symptoms may include:

a heated, painful skin rash
persons with light skin may get searing redness.

Contact dermatitis

Cosmetics and skin care items may include irritants and allergies. These may sometimes lead to contact dermatitis, a kind of eczema. These signs might be:

a rash that itches, burns, peels, or flakes, along with nose, eye, and mouth irritation
Several substances used in skin care products have the potential to result in contact dermatitis.
dependable source

fragrances \sdyes \spreservatives

How to prevent chemical burns

The easiest approach to prevent being burned while using skin care products is to follow the directions provided by a dermatologist or on the product label. Unless a doctor advises otherwise, a person should never use a product more often than what is specified on the label.

It is advisable to start with a low concentration or strength when using AHAs, BHAs, or retinoids for the first time. One product may be introduced at a time, and before applying it to the rest of the face, they can test it on a tiny patch of skin.

Before gradually increasing to the advised dosage or frequency, some may find it beneficial to use a tiny bit of the new product once a week in the beginning.

In general, it’s best to refrain from using many products that include active chemicals, such acids, at once. An individual should only use such products for one phase of their skin care program instead. For instance, they could use an acid-containing toner but forego using acids in their cleanser or moisturizer.

Last but not least, it is crucial to apply enough sunscreen when taking acids or retinoids.

When to seek medical attention for chemical burns caused by skin care?

If someone has any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor:

a response to a product that persists even after the user stops using it symptoms of illness, such as fever, heated skin, swelling, or burns with no apparent cause
If a skin care item brings on any of the following symptoms:

strong burning or discomfort skin blistering rash that develops quickly swelling in the mouth, lips, or throat


After utilizing skin care products that include AHAs or BHAs, such as lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid, a chemical burn on the face from skin care may occur. Stronger treatments or chemical peels are more likely to cause it to occur than OTC products.

If a chemical burn develops, the damaged region of skin should be thoroughly washed with water. It’s crucial to cease using acids and other potentially irritating treatments in order to give the skin time to recover.

Petroleum jelly may be used to keep the skin hydrated, and sunscreen can be used to shield the skin from the sun.

Exfoliants increase the risk of sunburn even when they do not harm the skin, thus it is crucial to use sunscreen every day when using them.

Anyone who has severe or ongoing symptoms need to see a physician.

Add Your Comment

Cosmoda © 2024. All Rights Reserved. The information, services, content, and products provided on our website are meant solely for informational purposes and do not serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. More information.