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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Chemical Burns: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Injuries and Safety

Chemical Burns

Chemical Burns | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

In most cases, medical care should be obtained quickly, unless the burn is very small. The emergency medical system should be contacted immediately for any serious burns. Cool, running water from the nearest source should be used to thoroughly rinse the affected areas. This includes any areas of the skin, mouth, or eyes. If someone has swallowed chemicals, large amounts of water can be swallowed. This helps to dilute the chemical, or make it less strong.

The longer the chemical remains on the skin, the more severe the injury will be. Those giving help should be careful not to expose themselves or anyone else to the chemical. A poison control center can be called for further information on the type of chemical and treatment options.

Cool, wet compresses can be applied to the burn to help relieve pain and discomfort. Ointments or other substances should not be applied without a doctor's approval. The burned area should be wrapped with a clean cloth.

Once the person is at the emergency department or healthcare provider's office, there are many treatments available. Depending upon how bad the burn is, the provider may use topical treatments, such as creams or ointments. Antibiotics can be given as needed. Surgery, including skin grafts, may be needed for severe burns.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Creams and antibiotics can cause allergic reactions. Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

What happens after treatment for the injury?

Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Chemical Burns: Prevention & Expectations


Author: James Broomfield, MD
Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
Date Reviewed: 08/10/01

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