First Aid For Chemical Burns: What You Need To Know In 2023

First Aid for Burns Poster from Safety Sign Supplies


Chemical burns can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. They are caused by exposure to chemicals that can damage the skin, eyes, or internal organs. Chemical burns can be severe, and if not treated immediately, they can lead to serious complications. In this article, we will provide you with essential first aid tips for chemical burns.

What is a Chemical Burn?

A chemical burn occurs when the skin or other tissue is damaged by exposure to a chemical substance. The severity of a chemical burn depends on several factors, including the type of chemical, the amount of exposure, and the length of time the chemical is in contact with the skin or tissue.

Types of Chemical Burns

There are two types of chemical burns: acid burns and alkali burns. Acid burns are caused by acids such as sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and nitric acid. Alkali burns are caused by alkalis such as lye, ammonia, and potassium hydroxide.

Symptoms of Chemical Burns

The symptoms of a chemical burn can vary depending on the severity of the burn. Mild chemical burns may cause redness, itching, and irritation, while severe chemical burns can cause the skin to blister, peel, or turn black. Other symptoms of chemical burns include pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

First Aid for Chemical Burns

If you or someone you know has been exposed to a chemical substance, it is important to take immediate action. Follow these steps to provide first aid for chemical burns:

Step 1: Remove the Chemical

If the chemical is still in contact with the skin or tissue, remove it immediately. Use gloves or other protective gear to avoid exposure to the chemical. If the chemical is in the eyes, flush the eyes with water for at least 20 minutes.

Step 2: Rinse the Affected Area with Water

Once the chemical has been removed, flush the affected area with water for at least 20 minutes. This will help to remove any remaining chemical from the skin or tissue.

Step 3: Remove Clothing and Jewelry

Remove any clothing or jewelry that may have come in contact with the chemical. This will prevent further exposure to the affected area.

Step 4: Cover the Burn

Cover the burned area with a clean, dry cloth or bandage. This will protect the area from further contamination and infection.

Step 5: Seek Medical Attention

If the chemical burn is severe, seek immediate medical attention. Chemical burns can cause serious complications, including scarring, infection, and even death.

Prevention of Chemical Burns

Preventing chemical burns is essential to protect yourself and others. Follow these tips to prevent chemical burns:

Tip 1: Wear Protective Clothing

When handling chemicals, wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask.

Tip 2: Store Chemicals Properly

Store chemicals in a cool, dry place, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Tip 3: Read Labels Carefully

Read the labels on chemical products carefully before use, and follow the instructions for safe handling and disposal.

Tip 4: Handle Chemicals with Care

Handle chemicals with care, and never mix different chemicals together.


Chemical burns can be severe and require immediate attention. If you or someone you know has been exposed to a chemical substance, follow the steps outlined in this article to provide first aid for chemical burns. Remember, prevention is key, so take steps to protect yourself and others from chemical burns by following the safety tips provided.