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Chemical Skin Burn

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about a chemical skin burn?

Examples of chemicals that can burn skin are found in cleaning products, paint stripper, and pesticides. Chemicals may also be found in some workplaces, such as wet or dry cement or battery acid. Signs and symptoms may not develop for several days. A burn may be worse than it appears at first. It may also get worse over the first few days.

What are the signs and symptoms of a chemical skin burn?

Signs and symptoms depend on the chemical, its amount and strength, and how long it was on your skin:

How is a chemical skin burn diagnosed and treated?

All clothing, jewelry, and foreign objects will be removed from the burn area. Your healthcare provider will examine your burn for swelling or other problems. Tell him or her about any pain or other symptoms you have. He or she will check how deep the burn goes, and how much tissue is affected. He or she will also check for signs or infection. Treatment depends on the chemical used and how severe the burn is. A severe burn, or a burn on your face, hands, or joints will be treated in the hospital. You may also need treatment at a burn center. You may need any of the following:

How do I care for the chemical skin burn at home?

What can I do to prevent chemical skin burns?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.