Self-Care and Home Remedies for Chemical Burns

Chemical burns happen due to skin coming in contact with various chemicals and result in symptoms of irritation of the skin and appearance of blisters and bumps. If you are exposed to the chemicals for a long duration then a reaction in the whole body may occur. Providing first aid is usually the first line of treatment for minor burns due to chemicals. Various home remedies are available that can treat chemical burns and reduce the damage caused due to them.

How to Get Rid of Chemical Burn

In case you have a chemical burn that can be recognized immediately:

  • While maintaining suitable protection for yourself such as by wearing gloves, take away the chemical responsible for the burn. If the chemical is dry, remove remaining material using a brush or a towel.
  • Take away contaminated jewelry or clothing to prevent any further burning of the skin.
  • Immediately rinse the area of the burn. Run a steady, gentle stream of tap water (temperature of the water should be cool) over the chemical burn for at least 10 minutes or more. You can also use a shower for this. Take care to keep your eyes protected.
  • Apply gauze or bandage loosely over the area of the burn.
  • If required, take an OTC painkiller such as naproxen sodium, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • You can consider taking a tetanus shot if your tetanus booster is not up to date. It is recommended by physicians to take a tetanus shot at an interval of 10 years.

When Should You Visit an Emergency Room?

  • In case the person who has a chemical burn demonstrates signs and symptoms of shock such as pale complexion, shallow breathing or fainting.
  • The burn has reached the second layer of the skin. Moreover, the area burnt is greater than 3 inches in diameter.
  • The burn involves the hands, eyes, feet, face, buttocks, groin or a major joint or the burn is present around a limb.

If you are not sure about the toxicity of a substance, call 800-222-1222 to Poison Help in the USA. If you are visiting emergency room, take the container of the chemical or the chemical’s name with you to emergency room.

How to get rid of chemical burn? Depending on how severe your condition is, your physician may utilize the below mentioned methods for treating your chemical burn:

  • Anti-itch medicines
  • Antibiotics
  • Debridement, in which dead tissue and dirt is removed or cleaned
  • Skin grafting, in which healthy skin taken from another body part is attached to burn wound
  • Intravenous fluids (IV fluids)

For Burns That Are Severe

If your burns are severe, you may require burn rehab. In this kind of rehab the following types of treatments are provided:

  • Pain management
  • Skin replacement
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Counseling
  • Occupational therapy that may help in developing you everyday skills
  • Patient education

Home Remedies for Minor Chemical Burns

Cold Compress

Cold compress benefits chemical burns that do not have any open wound. It helps by reducing the inflammation that is caused by certain strong chemicals. Soak a towel in cold water and place on the affected area till the inflammation and pain subsides.

Aloe Vera

Due to its soothing property, it is very useful for relieving the burning caused due to chemical burns. It also helps in faster healing of the burns and reduces scarring, since it is packed full of vitamin E.

Petroleum Jelly

How to get rid of chemical burn? Petroleum jelly (plain) is a very good home remedy for an open wound caused due to a chemical burn. It helps in promoting a moist environment that is essential for growth of new skin cells. Apply a layer of plain petroleum jelly on the affected area and repeat the process till the burning is reduced.


To nourish your body internally is equally important to heal the chemical burn externally. Hence, drinking plenty of water to maintain sufficient levels of hydration is important for whole healing process. This is most affordable and convenient home remedy that has the most benefit on the healing of the chemical burns.

Tea and Mint

Chamomile tea bags and mint leaves together make an excellent solution to soothe the pain caused due to chemical burns. Boil chamomile tea bags and mint leaves in a pan full of water. Strain the water. Refrigerate the strained water and apply the cool water on the burn with a cotton ball. It helps in reducing pain, inflammation and tingling.

Fresh Milk

It is also good remedy to treat chemical burn. Fresh milk not only speeds up the process of healing but also reduces inflammation. Apply fresh milk on the affected area and leave for few minutes. Rinse with water.


How to get rid of chemical burn? Dilute a drop of vinegar in cold water and use it as a compress on the burn with no open wound. It reduces pain and promotes healing.


Chemical burns with open wounds must be dressed with a loose gauze or bandage to prevent them from bacterial infection, debris, pressure and friction.

How Can I Prevent Chemical Burns?

Chemical burns can be prevented by taking certain precautions and following certain safety procedures when you handle chemical materials. These are:

  • Keeping the chemicals not in the reach of the children
  • Storing chemicals safely and properly after using them
  • Taking care to use chemicals in an area that is well-ventilated
  • Chemicals should be left in their original containers that have warning labels.
  • Using chemicals only when there is an absolute necessity
  • Avoiding mixing of chemicals with each other
  • Purchasing chemicals only in their protective containers
  • Taking care to keep chemicals away from drinks and foods
  • When handling chemicals, wearing protective clothing and gear

In case you are not sure of the toxicity of a substance, make a call to a poison control center.