May 20, 2009

Causes, Symptoms & Remedies for Chemical Burn

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Accidents can occur while working with products that contain chemicals. Coming in contact with these substances either by inhaling them or via contact could lead to a reaction or chemical burn. The substances could be anything that you use at home that has chemicals in it. Majority of chemical burns occur due to h3 acids that damage and destroy cells and, in some cases, tissue. Minimal exposure can diminish the level of damage caused.


Just taking a look at the labels of products should help you know how toxic a product is. There are a number of household cleaning agents that could cause chemical burns including bleaches, drain or toilet cleaners, chlorinators for the pool, concrete mix, and metal cleaners, to name a few. Make sure that you store these kinds of products in a suitable place to avoid ingesting them accidentally. Majority of chemical burns take place on the arms, eyes, face, hands and legs.


The symptoms to watch out for are cough or shortness of breath, blisters or dead skin that blackens after coming in contact with the chemical, burning, irritation or redness from contact with the chemical substance, pain or a feeling of numbness, blurry vision if the chemical enters your eyes, and vomiting. In cases where the burn is severe, you could experience the following symptoms including cardiac arrest or an irregular heartbeat; feeling faint, giddy or weak; headache; low blood pressure; twitching muscles or seizures; or a terrible cough and difficulty breathing.

Factors to Consider

The damage to tissue can depend on various factors, including whether the chemical was inhaled or swallowed, how the chemical works and reacts, concentration of the chemical, amount of chemical that you are exposed to, the location of contact, length of time that you are exposed to the chemical, whether the skin at the point of contact is broken, and the amount of time to clean the area that is contaminated.

Home Remedies

The first thing to do after suffering from a chemical burn is to get yourself first aid. If the symptoms are severe, call 911, lie on your back and wait till help arrives, and make sure that you do not expose yourself to the chemical. Here are some basic home remedies that you can follow till you get to a doctor.

  • For chemical burns like bleach burns, wash the area that is exposed and try to get rid of the substance with plenty of water; make sure that you wear a pair of gloves so that the chemical does not get transferred on to you. Keep washing the area for at least 20 minutes. If any chemical has entered the eye be extremely cautious and was the eye thoroughly. The best way to get plenty of water is by standing under the shower. Make sure that your move away from the area where the chemical is present. Remove any clothing or jewelry as those could be contaminated too.
  • If you are suffering a burn caused by phenol or carbolic acid try not to rinse this wound with water as it does not mix well with water. Get rid of the chemical by rubbing alcohol on the affected area to get rid of acidic traces, and then wash it with water.
  • For a hydrofluoric acid or sulfuric acid burn, flush the affected area by gently washing it with a mild soap solution or solution from baking soda; after which you can rinse it with water. Once you have finished cleaning the affected area as best as you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) on their toll free number 1-800-222-1222 for further information.

Make sure you seek immediate medical attention after suffering from a chemical burn to avoid complications.