WellSpan Home

Chemical Burn

Topic Overview

Note: If a chemical has beenswallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with you, so you can read the contents label to the Poison Control staff member.

Chemicals can cause skin burns or allergic reactions or can be poisonous. Chemical burns need to be evaluated and treated. If you are unable to reach your doctor immediately, call a Poison Control Center. Poison Control Center staff can help determine what treatment is needed.

Most chemical burns are caused by:

  • Acids, such as battery acid, toilet bowl cleaners, or artificial nail primers.
  • Alkalis, such as paint removers, lime, dishwasher powders, or lye. Alkalis usually cause more tissue damage than acids.
  • Metals, such as molten metal compounds used in foundries.
  • Hydrocarbons, such as gasoline or hot tar.

A chemical burn may be serious because of the action of the corrosive or irritating chemicals on the skin. A chemical burn on the skin can be deeper and larger than the burn first appears. If the chemical can be rinsed with water, the burning process can be reduced if the area is rinsed immediately with water. Waiting just a few minutes to rinse the burned area can increase the chance of the burn becoming more serious.

The face, eyes, hands, and feet are the most common body areas burned by chemicals.

Air bags that inflate can cause friction or heat (thermal) burns from the physical impact or chemical burns from the substances in the air bags.

For any chemical burn to the eye, see the topic Burns to the Eye.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofNovember 20, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×