Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Acid Burns
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.
Hydrofluoric acid is flushed with a large amount of water and treated with calcium gluconate. You need immediate medical care.
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.
Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineH. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
September 23, 2018
Medical Review:William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.