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First Aid & Emergencies

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Chemical Burn Treatment

Call 911

1. Protect Yourself

  • Put on gloves or apron, if possible.
  • Avoid exposing yourself to chemicals.

2. Rinse and Clear Burn Area

  • Flood area with cool water for at least 20 minutes or until help arrives.
  • Make sure water doesn't flow onto another part of the person's body or onto you.
  • Don't use a strong stream of water, if possible.
  • As you flush the burn (not before), remove jewelry or articles of clothing with chemical on them, unless they're stuck to the person's body.
  • After flushing the burn, follow instructions on the label of the chemical product, if available.
  • Don't try to neutralize the burn with acid or alkali. This could cause a chemical reaction that worsens the burn.
  • Don't put antibiotic ointment on the burn.

3. Cover a Small Burn Area

  • You can wrap a small burn with dry, sterile gauze or clean cloth.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on September 12, 2015

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