Burns caused by acid, alkaline or caustic chemicals can be very damaging and need immediate medical attention.
Chemical burns may occur when contact with highly dangerous chemicals in industrial manufacturing is made with the skin. Treatment of a chemical burn is dependent on removing the chemical causing the burn, and then cleaning the area to promote healthy healing.
- Chemical Skin Burn DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS. Return to the emergency department if. Your burn has more redness, pain, or swelling. Your burn oozes yellow liquid. Call your doctor or burn specialist if. You have a fever. You have less energy and feel ill. You have blisters that.
- Two skin care ingredients that do not mix: Retinol and BHAs. If only this marie claire writer has paid better attention to her skincare labels, she may not have suffered a chemical skin burn right.
- May 07, 2021 Two skin care ingredients that do not mix: Retinol and BHAs. If only this marie claire writer has paid better attention to her skincare labels, she may not have suffered a chemical skin burn right.
- Dec 18, 2018 Chemical burns can occur in a number of different ways. While some may associate chemical burns with scalding, scarring acid, you can develop a chemical burn scar in your daily life fairly easily. Some topical skin medications and treatments, particularly those obtained through a prescription, can create light burns on the skin that leave scarring.
Call 999 and ask for urgent help.
Immediate first aid
After calling 999, to help prevent severe injuries from a chemical burn:
- try to carefully remove the chemical and any contaminated clothing
- rinse the affected area using as much clean water as possible
Remove the chemical and affected clothing
- try to remove the chemical and contaminated clothing from contact with the skin and eyes, but be very careful not to touch or spread the chemical
- use gloves or other protective materials to cover hands and, if possible, carefully cut away clothing such as T-shirts, rather than pulling them off over the head
- do not wipe the skin as this may spread contamination
- if the chemical is dry, brush it off the skin
Rinse continuously with clean water
- rinse the affected area continuously with clean water as soon as possible
- try to make sure the water can run off the affected area without pooling on the skin
- only use water – do not rub or wipe the area
Stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives and follow any other advice given by the 999 call handler to avoid further injury.
Treatment in hospital
Immediate treatment for chemical burns in hospital includes:
- continuing to wash off the corrosive substance with water until it's completely removed
- cleaning the burn and covering it with an appropriate dressing
- pain relief
- a tetanus jab if necessary
Recovering from a chemical burn
Minor burns affecting the outer layer of skin and some of the underlying layer of tissue normally heal with good ongoing burn care, leaving minimal scarring.
Your dressing will need to be checked and changed regularly until the burn has completely healed to help prevent infection.
If the burn is severe, you may be referred to a specialist burns unit, which may be in a different hospital. You may stay in hospital for a number of days.
You may need surgery to remove the burnt area of skin and replace it with a section of skin (a graft) taken from another part of your body. See plastic surgery techniques for more information.
More severe and deeper burns can take months or even years to fully heal and usually leave some visible scarring. In some cases, the depth and location of the burn may also lead to problems such as sight loss or restricted use of limbs or muscles.
Specialist burns teams include occupational therapists, physiotherapists and mental health professionals who can support your recovery. For chemical burns affecting the eyes, you're also likely to be urgently assessed by an eye specialist to help minimise the risk of lasting vision loss.
If you've been the victim of an attack and continue to feel upset, anxious or afraid several days after the incident, you can ask to be referred to the hospital's mental health liaison team for support and treatment. Anyone with an existing mental health problem who has suffered an attack should also be referred to this team.
Burns support groups also provide practical and emotional support to victims and their families. Your care team should be able to signpost you to local groups, and the following national organisations can also help:
- Changing Faces provides support for people whose condition or injury affects their appearance
- Victim Support provides help and advice to victims and witnesses of crimes
- Katie Piper Foundation provides specific help for victims and families of acid attacks and other burns
Page last reviewed: 18 September 2020
Next review due: 18 September 2023
Corrosion of first degree of head, face, and neck, unspecified site, initial encounter
- 201620172018201920202021Billable/Specific Code
- T20.50XA is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.
- Short description: Corros first degree of head, face, and neck, unsp site, init
- The 2021 edition of ICD-10-CM T20.50XA became effective on October 1, 2020.
- This is the American ICD-10-CM version of T20.50XA - other international versions of ICD-10 T20.50XA may differ.
- Applicable To annotations, or
- Code Also annotations, or
- Code First annotations, or
- Excludes1 annotations, or
- Excludes2 annotations, or
- Includes annotations, or
- Note annotations, or
- Use Additional annotations
- S00-T882021 ICD-10-CM Range S00-T88Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causesNote
Type 1 Excludes
- Use secondary code(s) from Chapter 20, External causes of morbidity, to indicate cause of injury. Codes within the T section that include the external cause do not require an additional external cause code
- birth trauma (P10-P15)
- obstetric trauma (O70-O71)
- code to identify any retained foreign body, if applicable (Z18.-)
- T20-T252021 ICD-10-CM Range T20-T25Burns and corrosions of external body surface, specified by site
Burns and corrosions of external body surface, specified by siteIncludes
- burns and corrosions of first degree [erythema]
- burns and corrosions of second degree [blisters][epidermal loss]
- burns and corrosions of third degree [deep necrosis of underlying tissue] [full- thickness skin loss]
- code from category T31 or T32 to identify extent of body surface involved
- T20ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code T20Burn and corrosion of head, face, and neck
Burn and corrosion of head, face, and neck
Type 2 Excludes
- 201620172018201920202021Non-Billable/Non-Specific Code
- burn and corrosion of ear drum (T28.41, T28.91)
- burn and corrosion of eye and adnexa (T26.-)
- burn and corrosion of mouth and pharynx (T28.0)
- T20.5ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code T20.5Corrosion of first degree of head, face, and neck
Corrosion of first degree of head, face, and neck
- 201620172018201920202021Non-Billable/Non-Specific Code
- (T51-T65) to identify chemical and intent
- external cause code to identify place (Y92)
- First degree chemical burn of face
- First degree chemical burn of head
- 935 Non-extensive burns
Convert T20.50XA to ICD-9-CMCode History
- 2016 (effective 10/1/2015): New code (first year of non-draft ICD-10-CM)
- 2017 (effective 10/1/2016): No change
- 2018 (effective 10/1/2017): No change
- 2019 (effective 10/1/2018): No change
- 2020 (effective 10/1/2019): No change
- 2021 (effective 10/1/2020): No change
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Reimbursement claims with a date of service on or after October 1, 2015 require the use of ICD-10-CM codes.