Chemical Burns: Chemical burns are irritation and destruction of human tissue from exposure to chemicals. Chemical burns can occur in the home, at work or school, and as a result of accident or assault. Most chemical burns are caused by either strong acids or strong bases. Chemical burn symptoms may include redness, irritation, or burning at the site of the contact, pain or numbness at the site of the contact, blisters or black, dead skin at the site of the contact, vision changes if the chemical gets into the eyes, cough or shortness of breath, and vomiting. All chemical burns should be considered potential medical emergencies.