A chemical burn is an injury caused by exposure to a hazardous chemical. It can occur from inhaling, swallowing, or skin contact. Chemical burns can vary in severity, ranging from mild to life-threatening. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a chemical burn, how to provide first aid, and when to seek medical attention is important.
Assessment: In assessing a chemical burn, it is important to consider the type of chemical, the amount of exposure, and the duration of exposure. It is also important to note if the person has any preexisting medical conditions that may affect the treatment of the burn.
Symptoms: The symptoms of a chemical burn depend on the type and amount of exposure but generally include redness, pain, swelling, and skin blistering. Other symptoms may include difficulty breathing, burning sensation in the eyes, throat, or mouth, and vomiting.
First Aid: If someone has been exposed to a chemical, it is important to provide first aid as soon as possible. Flush the area with running water for at least 15 minutes, remove any contaminated clothing, and seek medical attention.
Treatment: The treatment for a chemical burn depends on the type of chemical involved and the severity of the burn. Treatment may include medication or surgery.
Medication: Medication for a chemical burn may include antibiotics, pain medications, and/or topical creams and ointments. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding the timing and dosage of any medications prescribed.