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Chemical Exposure​​​

Itchy Eyes​Chemical exposure typically happens in one of three ways. First, you can breathe in harsh chemicals. You can also ingest them, or the chemicals can come into contact with your skin. In each case, you can suffer from acute or chronic chemical exposure.

Chemical exposure can lead to long-term health effects, so seek medical care. You can visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care to undergo an assessment and treatment. With fast treatment, you can avoid or minimize the impact of long-term health conditions.

Acute Chemical Exposure Symptoms

If you are exposed to a large amount of a toxic chemical, symptoms can appear immediately. These symptoms include:

  • Throat and nose irritation
  • Headache
  • Burning eyes, throat, nose, chest, and skin
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing problems
  • Coughing and/or wheezing
  • Weakness
  • Passing out

With acute exposure, the symptoms typically subside once the chemical is removed. For example, if you breathe in a hazardous chemical, you might experience acute symptoms until you start breathing fresh air.

However, the symptoms can persist, and you can develop long-term health effects if you are exposed to a large amount of a chemical. Death is also possible from acute chemical exposure.

Chronic Chemical Exposure Symptoms

If you’re exposed to a small amount of a chemical over a long period of time, you might develop chronic chemical exposure.

Long-term chemical exposure can lead to serious health issues, including:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer

Because the damage is typically permanent, eliminating the exposure won’t reverse the health condition. However, medical treatment can improve your overall prognosis while providing symptom relief.

When to Go to the ER Due to a Chemical Exposure

You should always contact your doctor or visit the emergency room after chemical exposure.

Also, head to the ER immediately if you:

  • Experienced a chemical exposure to the mouth, eyes, or nose
  • Were exposed to a corrosive chemical
  • Have a chemical burn
  • Have problems breathing

When to Call 911

You should call 911 after a chemical exposure if the victim has significant trouble breathing, has a large burn, or is experiencing symptoms of shock.

Chemical Peel Side Effects – When to Go to the ER

Some people undergo chemical peels to resurface their skin. The cosmetic procedure can cause some side effects that vary in intensity.

Standard chemical peel side effects include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Scabbing

It’s also possible to experience changes in skin tone and scarring.

While most chemical peel side effects are mild, dangerous complications are possible. Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience:

  • Signs of an infection
  • Irregular heartbeat

While chemical exposures are frightening, help is available. Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six locations, and our ER-trained physicians are standing by, ready to assess the situation.