How to Treat Chemical Burns From Concrete

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Although the riskiest thing about concrete may seem to be falling and scraping yourself on it, wet concrete can actually be hazardous to work with. The alkaline nature of wet concrete is known to cause chemical burns to the skin. This is also true for other cement mixes, such as plaster and mortar.

These all tend to contain Portland cement which is caustic. Knowing the proper treatment for a concrete burn will help you prevent more damage than necessary.

Remove any clothing, including socks, trousers, shirts, gloves or shoes that have wet concrete on them.

Wash skin that has been exposed to wet concrete under warm running water. You should rinse for a minimum of 20 minutes, even if you do not see concrete remaining. This will help remove the residue that the concrete can leave behind.

Rinse your skin with a pH-neutral cleanser. This can either be a commercial cleanser, distilled white vinegar or even citrus juice. Since the concrete is an alkaline, the acidic properties of vinegar and citrus will help neutralise the concrete's effects.

Apply aloe vera to the skin to soothe the burn. Then wrap the burn loosely with sterile bandage to keep out debris and bacteria. However, avoid lotions and lanolins. These products hold the cement residue next to the skin. Contact a medical professional to find out if further treatment is needed.

Contact a physician if red irritated skin becomes swollen or if blistering occurs. Sometimes concrete burns appear minor, like a red rash at first, but several days later turn into more severe burns.