chemical burns are rarely fatal, they can however cause serious
harm. These may occur anywhere, whether at school, work, home, after
a calamity or accident.
Occasionally chemical burns are through accidental product misuse
like that of skin, hair or nail care. Workplace injuries due to
chemicals pose a greater harm than those take place at home. Workers
in Industrial plants where huge amount of chemicals are being utilized
fear of the greater risk of sustaining severe injuries due to chemical
Chemical burns do not usually manifest reactions. One common symptom
of an exposed individual is when a healthy person suddenly becomes
weak or sick without any cause and having evidences of chemicals
Acids and bases are the two elements that define a chemical burn.
They are considered caustics, or that which causes damage to tissues
on contact. There are also a number of factors to be considered
like length of exposure, volume of the chemical, physical structure
of the agent, concentration and pH of the chemical.
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Chemical Burns: Signs and Symptoms
Incidents of chemical burns are usually on the eyes, arms, legs,
and face. Patients with relatively small burns can be treated with
home medication. For those cases where agents cause serious tissue
damage, signs may not be very visible.
For ordinary chemical burns, symptoms may include burning, redness
and eventually irritation of the exposed area. Patients may also
experience slight pain and numbness at the site of the affected
skin. The above mentioned symptoms might develop into blisters or
dead skin. If the eyes are contaminated with chemicals, the individual
may experience changes in his visions.
For critical chemical burns, weakness, dizziness or faintness may
result. Sometimes the patient may experience headache, severe cough,
or low blood pressure. In extreme cases, the patient may develop
muscle seizures and eventually can lead to cardiac arrest. These
signs cannot be ignored for chemical burns, although rare, can cause
Chemical Burns: Types and Causes
As previously mentioned, chemical burns are due to the acids and
bases contained in certain products. Product labels often disclose
their ingredients and the approximate toxicity and danger if in
contact with human body.
Therefore, extra care must be observed when using household products
like toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, pool chlorinators, and metal
Chemical Burns: Medical Attention
If possible, medical care must be availed of at the first instance
of exposure to harmful chemicals. Chemical burns are oftentimes
and predictable and we may not know what possible complications
may occur afterwards.
First aid treatment may not be sufficient for severe burns. You
may have to seek your doctor’s assistance to provide you with
Medical experts may need to know details of your incident to chemical
burns. 911 respondents may ask you the following essential information:
• Location of the injured individual(s)
• Extent of the injury
• Whether emergency assistance may reach the patients (as
when victims are inside an enclosed building)
• The possible chemical causing the injury, including its
attributes that may be found in its container
• How long was the patient exposed to such chemical
Chemical Burns: First-Aid Treatment
These are the following first-aid steps you may perform following
a chemical burn.
• Get rid of the agent that caused the burn by washing off
the affected skin with cold running water for 20 or more minutes.
In case of powdered chemicals, just gently brush it off to avoid
contact with the skin.
• If chemicals are accidentally trickled into your eyes, immediately
wash it off with running water.
Medical Professionals may administer procedures for patients with
delicate cases of chemical burns. IV fluids may be introduced to
for medications and to normalize heart rate and blood pressure.
Pain relievers will also be recommended to alleviate pain during
the medical procedures.
Decontamination will follow the above procedures. If suitable,
antidotes are given to counteract specified chemicals that have
been induced into the body. Open wounds are covered with sterile
plasters and are treated with medicated ointments or creams.
For patients having difficulty in breathing due to a burn, a breathing
tube may be necessary for the supply of oxygen.