First-Aid Treatment for Burns

What To Do If You Get a Chemical Burn

A chemical burn can be minor or life-threatening, but proper treatment can reduce the chance of infection and the damage caused by contact with the chemical. 

  1. If you believe you or someone else has been contaminated with a chemical, call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222, Shelby County EMS at (205) 669-3999, 9-1-1, or your operator immediately
  2. Remove any affected clothing or jewelry from the injury, starting from the top and working your way down to the socks . Use lots of cool running water to flush the chemical from the skin until emergency help arrives. The running water will dilute the chemical fast enough to prevent the injury from getting worse.
  3. Use the same treatment for eye burns and remove any contact lenses. Be careful to flush the eye from the nose outward.
  4. If no large amount of clean water is available, gently brush the chemical off the skin and away from the victim and you.
  5. If the chemical is on the face, neck or shoulders, ask the victim to close his or her eyes before brushing off the chemical.
  6. Cover the wound very loosely with a dry, sterile or clean cloth so that the cloth will not stick to the wound. Do not put any medication on the wound. Seek medical attention immediately.

Note: Use care not to touch your contaminated clothing to your bare skin. Place your clothing in a plastic bag so it cannot contaminate other people or things. Take a thorough shower to wash any chemical away. Re-dress in clean clothing and go for medical help at your first opportunity.