Woman suffers organ failure from hair cream which caused her kidney to shut down

Friday, March 29, 2024
 – A woman suffered organ failure after a chemical used in hair straighteners caused her kidney to shut down.

The woman, who was not named, felt nauseous and suffered from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and back pain just after regularly using products with glyoxylic acid, according to Mail Online.

The report gathered that she had no health problems before the treatments, but said she would also feel a burning sensation on her scalp whenever the chemicals were applied.

Doctors warned that glyoxylic acid and its derivatives like glycolic acid popular in 'Brazilian' and 'formaldehyde-free' hair straightening treatments, could seep through the skin into the blood and travel to the internal organs.

Once there, they could form crystals the doctors suggested which may stop the kidneys from functioning correctly.

In the case, revealed in the New England Journal of Medicine, the woman went for treatments three times at the same salon in June 2020, April 2021, and July 2022.

On the same day after each treatment, she was diagnosed with acute kidney injury, which is a sudden loss of function in the kidneys when they stop filtering water and waste products from the blood.

Hospital tests showed levels of creatinine, a waste product in her blood surged to double their normal measurements.

It was not clear how she was treated, but this may have included intravenous fluids and dialysis or being hooked up to a machine to filter the blood.

The woman, from Tunisia, had used a cream that contained ten percent glyoxylic acid.

Doctors suggested glyoxylic acid damaged the kidneys because within the organs it was broken down into 'elongated' crystals which formed stones and stopped the organs from functioning properly.

Glyoxylic acid works by temporarily altering the structure of hair, allowing hairdressers to change frizzy hair to straight.

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