Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

First Aid for Tar or Plastic Burns - Topic Overview

Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic and stop the burning.

Do not attempt to peel the tar or plastic off after it has cooled. This may remove skin that is stuck to the tar or plastic. To remove tar or plastic, loosen it with mineral oil or ointments such as Vaseline or Polysporin. Tar will likely peel off after a few days as the skin cells below the tar flake off normally.

Recommended Related to First Aid

Coughs

Is unconscious or not breathing Is gasping for breath Can't cry or talk because of breathing trouble Grunts when breathing Has blue lips May have a small object caught in her throat Is breathing very fast (this is also a symptom of fever) Looks very sick

Read the Coughs article > >

After the tar or plastic is removed, wash and treat the burned skin. If you have any trouble removing tar or plastic from the skin, you need an evaluation by a doctor.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 27, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    First Aid for Tar or Plastic Burns Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Antibiotic on hand
    Slideshow
    3d scan of fractured skull
    Slideshow
     
    Father putting ointment on boy's face
    Slideshow
    Person taking food from oven
    Q&A
     
    sniffling child
    Slideshow
    wound care true or false
    Slideshow
     
    caring for wounds
    Slideshow
    Harvest mite
    Slideshow
     

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    WebMD the app

    Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

    Find Out More