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Chemical burns: First aid /Conditions/Prevention

 Chemical burns: First aid 

Chemical burns can occur from many substances, such as strong acids, drain cleaners, paint thinner, and gasoline. You are usually aware of the burn and its cause. But sometimes you may not immediately recognize a burn caused by a milder chemical. Like sunburns, the pain and redness may develop gradually. After being exposed to the sun, it will take hours for the skin to develop a burn.

Chemical burns: First aid

When to seek emergency care

Call 911 or seek immediate care for a chemical burn in which the burn:

  • Is deep
  • A border should be at least 3 inches (8 cm) wide.
  • Covering one's hands, feet, face, and groin is necessary for decontamination.

If you're not sure whether a substance is toxic, call Poison Help at 800-222-1222 in the United States. If you need emergency medical help, take the chemical container or the name of the chemical with you to the emergency department.

Treating chemical burns

If you think you have been exposed to a chemical, take these steps right away:

  • Remove the cause of the burn.Wash the chemical off of your skin with cool running water for at least 10 minutes. If there is still residue on your skin, brush it off before flushing. Wear gloves or use a towel to clean up any remaining material.
  • Remove clothing or jewelryThe object is contaminated with the chemical.
  • Bandage the burn.Cover the burn with a sterile bandage (not cotton). Wrap it loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin.
  • Flush again if needed.If you experience increased burning after the initial flush, pour water over the burn area for several more minutes.

Make sure your tetanus booster is current.

Chemical burns: First aid /Conditions/Prevention

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