You can suffer a chemical burn by spilling bleach on your skin. If your burn is severe, you need to seek immediate medical attention. You also need medical attention if you show signs of shock; have an all-over body reaction; have a burn over an area bigger than 3 inches that penetrates more than your first layer of skin; or have burned your eyes, the area over a major joint, your buttocks, face, feet, face or groin. In addition, if you haven’t had a tetanus shot within the past five years, the experts at the Mayo Clinic advise you to get one because all burns are susceptible to tetanus. Burns caused by bleach that do not require an emergency room visit still need immediate treatment to reduce the amount of damage to your skin.
Flush the Area
The initial treatment for a chemical burn from bleach is flushing the bleach off your skin using cool running water, according to MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. You need to continue this treatment for 20 minutes or more, according to the Mayo Clinic. Make sure you remove any contaminated jewelry or clothing before you flush. Rewash the burned area for additional time if you experience increased burning after the initial washing.
You can relieve pain from your burn in a couple of ways. Apply a cold, wet compress to the burn area, advises MedlinePlus. Also take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or acetaminophen, advises the Mayo Clinic experts. However, if the person suffering the burn is younger than 2, do not administer aspirin. Also, if the burn victim is a teen or child who is recovering from flu-like symptoms or chickenpox, do not give the youth aspirin, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your pain is not controllable with an OTC pain reliever, you should seek medical attention.
You need to wrap your burn in a sterile, dry dressing or clean cloth to protect the burned area from friction, according to MedlinePlus. If your burn is minor, it will likely heal with no further treatment. Avoid putting any ointments or salves onto your burn, and do not remove dead skin or blisters from the burn area, advises MedlinePlus.