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Wound Care for Chemical Burns

To make an appointment

1533 E 4th St,

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Chemical Burns wound careIn this article we’re going to talk about Chemical Burn Treatment, and we hope by the end of the article you have a better understanding of how to care for a burn caused by chemicals. At the end we’ll introduce you to Wound Care OC, a wound care specialty office in Orange County, California

What is a chemical burn?

A chemical burn can be caused by acid, drain cleaner, gasoline, hair remover, paint thinner or other corrosive substances, causing tissue damage and pain. They are also known as caustic burns and this is how some people may refer to them. 

When a person gets this type of burn they usually know immediately, however, sometimes people incur a chemical burn and don’t know the source. This is especially true when the chemical burn is more mild. Just like with sunburns, sometimes the damage from a chemical burn doesn’t show up until later.  Intense chemical burns require emergency medical help. When the burn is especially intense or big or caused by acid, you’ll need to seek emergency medical help right away. On the other hand, a minor chemical burn is usually treated with regular first aid.

If you’re wondering where chemical burns happen, the answer runs the gamut. They can occur in the home with household products. They can also occur at work or at school when the person works with corrosive materials in settings like manufacturing plants. They can also occur as the result of an accident or an assault. For the most part, people survive these attacks or accidents and live to tell the tale, however, people in the United States have died after coming into contact with chemicals in the home as these corrosive substances can do serious harm. Though, death is unlikely. Major damage to the skin and organs is much more likely. 

What are the types of Chemical Burns?

Chemical Burns wound care ocJust like any other burn, chemical burns are classified based on the amount of damage to the skin and tissue. Here are the classifications:

  • First-degree burns are also known as “superficial burns.” They only affect the skin’s epidermis, or outer layer. Symptoms of this classification of burn are redness at the source and a painful sensation.
  • A second-degree burn also goes by the name “partial thickness,” which means the damage has extended to the skin’s dermis, also known as the second layer of skin. Symptoms are blisters, redness, swelling and scar formation.
  • Third-degree burns are known as “full thickness” because they penetrate the skin and tissue underneath. Symptoms are that the wound has turned black, which is because the nerves have been destroyed. Someone with this level of burn may or may not feel pain.

When do I seek emergency care? 

In the case of the following you should call 911, your doctor or emergency services:

  • If the burn is deep and penetrates all layers of the skin.
  • If the burn is larger than 3 inches when measured.
  • If the burn covers any of the following areas: the face, hands, feet, buttocks or groin area. 
  • If you’re displaying a symptom of shock, such as a weak pulse, shallow breathing or cool and clammy skin.

If you don’t know what the source of your chemical burn is but believe you may have been exposed to a toxic chemical, it is very important that you call 911 as well as the poison control center. Here in the United States, Poison Control can be reached at 800-222-1222. If you decide to go to an emergency clinic or the hospital, make sure to bring the container with the name of the chemical with you if you have access to that information.

How should I care for a chemical burn?

Chemical Burns wound care orange countyIf you think the burn necessitates a call to emergency services, do that. If not, you can treat the burn similar to any other burn as far as bandaging the wound, however, when it comes to cleaning the wound you should proceed with a bit more caution. This is what you should do when treating a chemical burn:

  • Wear gloves to brush off any chemicals that remain on your body. Work gloves are best, but any covering will work.
  • Take off any clothing or jewelry that was contaminated. 
  • Rinse the clothing and jewelry in cool water for at least 20 minutes. Use a shower for this process if it’s available. That way you can ensure that everything gets rinsed and clean. 
  • Keep your eyes protected from chemical contamination by wearing glasses or goggles. If these aren’t available to you, close your eyes to shield them from any chemical contaminants.
  • Take a clean, dry bandage and apply it to the burn. Wrap it loosely so as not to add undue pressure to the wound. 
  • If you feel that the wound is burning, rinse again. When the wound burns or stings that’s a good indication that some chemical is left in there. So keep on rinsing until that sensation goes away. 

Visit Wound Care OC for all of your Wound Care needs 

Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA

Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.

To make an appointment

1533 E 4th St,

Santa Ana, CA 92701

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