If you work with hazardous chemicals, you undoubtedly know just how catastrophic they can be. After all, chemicals can burn your skin, eyes, throat, lungs and stomach. If you burn yourself when working with chemicals, your initial instinct may be to apply ice to the wound.
Applying ice to a chemical burn or any other type of burn is a potentially deadly mistake. Therefore, rather than reaching your hand into the freezer in the breakroom, you should get yourself to the emergency room immediately.
Ice is bad for burns
Ice may give you some much-needed and immediate relief from the excruciating pain that often comes with chemical burns. Applying ice, though, does significantly more harm than good. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, icing your burn risks further damaging delicate tissues. Even worse, if you are in shock from your burn, a drop in body temperature may put you in grave danger.
The ER is the only option
Different chemical burns require different treatments. Rather than trying to tough it out by using home remedies, going to the ER is really your only option. Doctors there have the experience and equipment they need to diagnose your injury and propose a treatment plan. If your local hospital’s ER is not up to the task, you can expect doctors to transfer you to a regional trauma center.
Even if you think your chemical burn is not that bad, you should not roll the dice with your health. Ultimately, you may be eligible for significant workers’ compensation benefits to help you pay for the expensive medical care you need.