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Chemical Exposure

Seek Emergency Care If You Have Acute or Chronic Chemical Exposure Symptoms

Breathing, ingesting, and touching toxic chemicals are harmful to your health. If you take in a small amount of a dangerous toxin over time, it can build up in your system, causing chronic chemical exposure. However, if you come into contact with a large amount of a toxic substance, you’ll experience acute chemical exposure. Both are considered medical emergencies that require treatment.

Symptoms – When to Go to the ER

Chronic chemical exposure can cause serious health conditions, such as asthma and cancer. The conditions develop and worsen over time. If you think you think you’ve been exposed to a chemical over a period of time,, visit the ER for a diagnostic workup.

Acute exposure symptoms appear immediately. You need emergency medical attention if any of the following is true:

  • Your throat and nose are irritated.
  • You have a headache.
  • Your skin, chest, nose, throat, or eyes feel like they’re burning.
  • You can see a chemical burn.
  • You ingested, inhaled, or touched a corrosive chemical.
  • Your vision is blurry.
  • You are coughing and/or wheezing.
  • You are having trouble breathing.
  • You feel sweaty and weak.
  • You feel like you’re going to pass out.
  • You appear to be in shock.

You should get checked, even if the symptoms disappear when you are no longer in contact with the chemical. It’s possible to develop long-term health problems from acute chemical exposure, so a full medical workout is necessary.

You also need to visit the emergency room immediately if the symptoms don’t go away. Don’t attempt to drive yourself. Have a friend or family member drive you to the ER or call 911 for assistance.

Should I Be Concerned About Chemical Peel Side Effects?

If you’ve undergone a chemical peel for cosmetic reasons, you can expect some mild side effects such as redness, swelling, and scabbing. These issues should resolve as you recover.

However, you do need to visit an emergency room if:

  • You develop an infection, such as a herpes flare-up.
  • Your heartbeat is irregular.
  • You show signs of heart, liver, or kidney damage.

Most chemical peels are safe. However, monitor your symptoms so you can seek medical care if needed.

Exposure to toxic chemicals is quite dangerous and can lead to severe health complications. If possible, remove yourself from the toxic chemical. Then, assess your condition. If you are in serious distress, call 911. If you don’t need an ambulance, you can have a loved one drive you to the emergency room for treatment. With fast treatment, you can prevent dangerous long-term health conditions from occurring as a result of chemical exposure.