A recent report on Good Morning America (GMA) shared the dangers of at-home chemical face peels. GMA interviewed a woman who purchased a home chemical peel over the internet because it had 30 percent glycolic acid. After use, she reported severe chemical burns all over her face that still have not completely cleared up months later.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a 10 percent concentration of glycolic acid is the highest concentration for safe home use. But only licensed medical professionals should use higher concentrations of glycolic or salicylic acids at 30 percent or more.

How can I tell a chemical peel is safe to use?

Chemical peels sold in pharmacies and beauty stores for direct consumer use should be safe to use as long as you follow the instructions. Before you purchase a product in person or over the internet, make sure it is FDA-approved and designed for home use and not intended for use by trained professionals and dermatologists.

Internet retailers also offer stronger chemical peel kits with warnings that they are for professional, licensed users. However, the GMA investigation found unlicensed consumers may also be able to purchase these kits. It is best to follow the FDA’s parameters and only use kits that have a 10 percent or less concentration of glycolic or salicylic acid, and leave stronger concentrations for professionals.

Even if you do not suffer a chemical burn by using a peel, you must be careful about sun exposure after the treatment. FDA research found that skin that undergoes a chemical peel with a four percent glycolic acid concentration for as little as four days can increase sensitivity to UV light and risk of sunburn.

Can a company selling home chemical peel kits be liable for facial burns?

In some cases, yes, a company that sells strong chemical peels without checking credentials of the buyers could be liable for selling dangerous products to unlicensed consumers. Additionally, if a kit does not come with clear instructions for safe use, the manufacturer could be liable for failure to warn of the dangers of chemical burns.

Consumers might also be able to hold a beauty salon liable for chemical burns if employees do not perform chemical peel procedures correctly.

Where can I get legal help if I suffer an accidental chemical burn?

A lawyer can evaluate your claim and identify any liable parties for your burn. Call 844-549-8774 to speak with a lawyer referral specialist to find a lawyer who can help.