Home Remedies for Chemical Burns

From simple household products to a dye job gone wrong, don’t think chemical burns just happen at the workplace or in a chemistry class. An accident waiting to happen could be found in your linen closet, the garage, basement, and amongst your cleaning supplies. Home remedies for chemical burns allow you to quickly treat the skin and minimize the damage.

Symptoms of a Chemical Burn

A chemical burn is skin damage that usually takes place when you come in contact with a strong acid or base. Household products that have the potential to chemically burn the skin include bleach, concrete mix, metal cleaners, pool chlorinators, and drain or toilet bowl cleaners [1].

The majority of chemical burns occur on the face, eyes, arms and legs. Most of the burns are relatively small and treatable at home. Depending on the chemical in question, you may experience deep tissue damage that you may not readily see. A range of factors play a role in the amount of damage associated with a chemical burn, such as:

• Strength or concentration of the chemical
• Site of contact (eyes, skin, or mucous membrane)
• Whether you swallowed or inhaled the chemical
• Whether you experienced skin contact
• How much of the chemical you came in contact with
• The characteristics and function of the chemical
• Time length of exposure

The signs and symptoms of chemical burns to consider include redness, skin irritation, burning sensation, pain or numbness, blisters, black dead-looking skin, cough or shortness of breath (if inhaled), and changes in vision (if chemical gets in your eyes). Severe cases of chemical burns involve low blood pressure, faintness, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, muscle twitching, and irregular heartbeat.

Chemical Burn Home Remedies

When dealing with chemical burns, you need to react quickly to minimize the damage to your skin, then after the unsettling feelings of being burned have gone – it’s time to focus on healing the skin. Home remedies for chemical burns can help with this process with the following suggestions:

a) Vinegar:

A mixture of cold water and vinegar can make a healing compress that you hold to the burned skin until the pain lessens.

b) Dry Skin:

Keeping a burn dry and clean will assist in the healing process – it’s not good to let moisture come in contact with affected skin.

c) Aloe Vera:

Break open the leaf of an aloe vera plant to extract the sap that possesses powerful healing properties. Apply the sap over affected skin to cool down the burning sensations and promote a faster rate of healing.

d) Cool Compress:

To relieve the pain of a chemical burn, apply a cool, wet compress. You can also apply a soft cloth soaked in cool water to get the same effect. For the best results, apply the cool compress every hour throughout the day. A wet towel is another way to cool down burned skin. This remedy helps reduce inflammation and treat painful, itchy skin.

e) Mineral Oil or Petroleum Jelly:

Using oil is not recommended for most chemical burns, but when you’ve come in contact with metallic lithium, sodium, potassium or magnesium. – using mineral oil is a preferred remedy since these chemicals react with water. Soak affected skin in mineral oil. Use petroleum jelly when your chemical burn is associated with white phosphorus.

f) Drink Water:

Drinking lots of water throughout the day will keep your body hydrated, which encourages a faster rate of healing to take place.

g) Papaya:

When a chemical burn has left you with dead skin cells that could hinder your healing process, turn to using fresh papaya pulp.

h) Yellow Mustard:

Some people have applied yellow mustard to their burned skin. After applying, wash off after the paste has dried.

i) Mint Leaves and Tea Bags:

A combination of mint leaves, a couple of tea bags, and water can be boiled together to create a decoction for chemically burned skin. Strain the liquid and place it in the refrigerator to cool. Dab a small amount of the liquid on your burned skin, and let it dry. Wash off any remaining residue.

j) Remove Clothing and Accessories:

To lessen the damage caused by the chemical you’ve come in contact with, immediately remove clothing and jewelry that has been contaminated.

k) Gauze:

To protect burned skin from friction and pressure, wrap with a dry sterile piece or gauze.

l) Milk:

Apply a cool compress soaked in cool milk to burned skin to jumpstart the healing process. The milk will also soothe burned skin. Rinse with cool, clean water following the application of the milk.