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Chemical Burn Treatment

Although 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 burns.

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 nearby.

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 death.


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 cleaners.


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 further treatment.

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.



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