Chemical Burn

While the general rules for the treatment of burns are the same, regardless of the type of burn, there are some additional considerations for chemical burns. The key point when dealing with chemicals is not to contaminate yourself. Chemical spills are not always obvious – some very toxic chemicals look like water – so look for signs such as a hazchem (hazardous chemical) label, empty chemical containers or guidance from bystanders. If in doubt, call the emergency services rather than approach the injured person yourself. Remember that some household substances can cause chemical burns, particularly cleaning materials such as oven cleaner.

A chemical burn should be washed with large amounts of water. Take off any clothing that has the chemical on it. Don’t put anything on the burned area. This might start a chemical reaction that could make the burn worse.

As with electrical burns, chemical burns can be very damaging, and immediate medical attention should be sought.

You should determine the chemical that has caused the burn so that you can inform the healthcare professional upon receiving medical assistance.

Remove any affected clothing, and if you are dealing with a casualty, ensure that you are wearing appropriate protective clothing. If the chemical is in a dry form, you should brush it off the skin. Use running water to remove any traces of the chemical.

With chemical burns, it is very useful to bring the container along to A&E as it helps determine the causative chemical & aid treatment.

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