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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.

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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.
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