Battery acid can damage the skin when it comes in contact with it. Most batteries especially automotive batteries contain sulphuric acid. It is used to produce electric current. Often people suffer from burns from battery acids if they do not handle them carefully. Battery acid burns are chemical burns and they usually occur in battery manufacturing units.
Also batteries can explode if a person mishandles it. When the acid is splashed from the batteries and if it comes in contact with skin or eyes, immediate measures are needed to reduce damage. Sulphuric acid being corrosive can cause death of the tissue cells when it comes in contact with the body.However, it may depend on the strength of the acid and the time the acid remains in contact with the skin.
In majority of cases the injury is limited to the superficial area of skin. Below are given first aid measures with which you can minimize burning sensation as well as tissue damage caused by battery acid.
First Aid For Burns From Battery Acid
The first and most important thing is to stop the burning process.
- Asses the area of affected part which has come in contact with the acid. If the acid has spilled on face, hand and chest or on the feet, flush the acid burn with lots of water. Water dilutes the chemical nature of the acid and thus it helps to reduce its strength. It is necessary to flush with large amount of water. Avoid using small quantity because this may allow spread of acid to the surrounding skin without reducing its strength. Thus worsen the acid burn.
- If the clothing sticks to the burn, remove the clothing which has come in contact with the acid.
- If the acid is spilt in eyes flush your eyes with tap water and keep on doing for 15 minutes or until medical help arrives. In case of eyes being affected, it is an emergency and you should consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
How To Treat Battery Acid Burn On Skin?
Once you have put the fire out, you are half way to healing. The coolness of water stops the burning pain and works as a temporary pain killer. However, do not use ice cold water as it will cause more damage and burning. Use only flowing tap water.
- After the burning has reduced gently wrap the burn with a clean, dry cloth such as a thick sterile gauze pad. It is always good to use dry dressing. It prevents contamination of the wound with foreign bodies such as mud and dust.
- Anti-inflammatory medicine may help to reduce pain and swelling.
- It is necessary to reassure the patient and make him calm. It is possible and easy if the acid burn is on any part of the skin surface other than in the eyes. If eyes are involved flushing it with water is useful till the patient consults the doctor.
- Two to three days after the superficial battery acid burn, you can apply aloe vera gel. It has both mild analgesic action as well as antibacterial action that will make the wound feel better.