It is a known fact that chemical burns, even though painful are not considered as dangerous. The usual causes of chemical burns include exposure to car battery acid, tile cleaners, gasoline, drain cleaners, wet or dry cement and oxidizers. If an individual sustained a chemical burn, it is vital that you know how to carry out appropriate first aid care so that the skin can properly heal. This is possible by registering for first aid training today.
What is a chemical burn?
A chemical burn occurs once the skin gets in contact with irritants such as bases or acids. Once chemicals come in contact with the skin, it can cause a reaction on the skin or inside the body. Chemical burns can also affect the internal organs if chemicals were ingested.
In case an individual unintentionally swallows a chemical, immediately inspect the mouth for burns or cuts. You can call the poison control or simply bring the individual to the nearest emergency department. Avoid giving anything by mouth unless instructed by a healthcare professional. In case the individual becomes unconscious, you have to call for emergency assistance.
Removing contact with the chemical
In case an individual sustained a chemical burn, the cause of the burn should be removed first. If the burn was caused by a dry chemical, you have to swipe off any leftover chemical on the skin. The skin must be placed under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. Clothing or jewelry that was contaminated must be removed so that they will not get in contact with the skin.
Protect the wound
After the wound was rinsed with cool water, the exposed skin must be covered with sterile cloth or dressing. The area must be protected from friction or pressure and do not disrupt blisters or remove dead skin from burns. Antibiotic ointments must be avoided since they a start a chemical reaction that will only worsen the chemical burn. As for a minor chemical burn, it can heal on its own without additional treatment.
Provide pain relief
When relieving the pain from a chemical burn, it is recommended to apply a cool, wet compress on the area. You can also provide the individual with over-the-counter pain medications or those prescribed by the doctor.
Important consideration to bear in mind
It is best to seek emergency care if the individual experiences shock such as shallow breathing or fainting after sustaining a chemical burn. If the burn penetrated the first skin layer or occurs on the hands, eyes, face, feet, buttocks, groin or an area over a major joint, it important to seek medical care.
When a chemical burn is sustained, a doctor must be consulted regarding tetanus vaccine. Always bear in mind that burns face a high risk of tetanus. Always bear in mind to keep chemicals out of reach of children as well as reading the label instructions carefully and avoiding extended exposure to chemicals.