Acid products include toilet cleaners, battery acid, bleach, chemicals used in industry for crystal etching, and chemicals that are added to gas. Acid solids and liquids can cause injury, depending on the type, the strength, and the length of time the acid is in contact with the body. The damage is usually kept to the area of contact and does not usually cause damage deep in the tissue.
When a chemical burn occurs, find out what chemical caused the burn. Call a Poison Control Center immediately for more information about how to treat the burn. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with you, so you can read the contents label to the Poison Control staff member.
Most chemical burns are treated first by rinsing (flushing) the chemical off your body with a large amount of cool water, but not all chemicals are treated this way. It is important to treat the burn correctly to avoid further complications.
Chemical burns rinsed with water
Chemical burns not rinsed with water
Some acid burns are made worse if rinsed (flushed) with water.
The most important first aid for a chemical in the eye is to immediately flush the substance out with large amounts of water to reduce the chance of serious eye damage. For any chemical burn to the eye, see the topic Burns to the Eye.
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