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Tips to Avoid Skin Injuries From Common Household Chemicals

Household chemical
Normal household chemicals such as household cleaners, drain cleaners, and pesticides are not gentle on your skin. Some of these products can cause short-term injuries such as chemical burns or even long-term injuries such as skin cancer. The following tips should help you avoid such injuries.

Always Read Product Instructions

The first advice is to always read instructions before you use any product with chemicals. Read the safety and directions for use to reduce the risks of skin damage, and know what to do in the case of an accident. Follow the safety instructions to the letter; don't improvise on anything.

For example, if the instructions call for a mixture in the ratio of four parts water and two parts cleaner, that is what you should use. If you make a mistake and use a potent mixture, you may expose your skin to a more potent cleaner than you would have done if you had followed the instructions.

Wear Safety Attire

Use protective gear to keep the chemicals away from your skin. The necessary protective gear depends on the chemicals you use at any time. For example, ordinary hand gloves are adequate when you just want to keep common household cleaners away from your skin. However, you should use goggles, gloves, and an apron before you handle oven cleaners.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Don't use ordinary chemicals in enclosed places with inadequate air ventilation. Encourage proper air circulation so that the chemicals don't remain suspended in the air for a long time. If you don't aerate the house, the chemicals will remain in the air for a long time and settle on your skin even long after you are done.

Therefore, open all the doors, raise the window blinds, and let the air conditioner or fan ran when using chemicals outdoors. Do that and most of the chemicals won't settle or remain in your house long enough to cause problems.

Don't Mix Products

Don't mix ordinary household chemicals without permission or instructions from their manufacturers. Some chemicals are pretty benign when you use them individually but become volatile and dangerous when you combine them with other products.

For example, a chlorine-based cleaner or an ammonia-based cleaner may both be relatively harmless when you use them independently. However, if you mix the two cleaners, they react and produce corrosive compounds that may burn your skin.

Try Alternative Products

Most household products have safer alternatives that you can use to reduce the risk of injury to your skin. With careful use, the safer alternatives perform just as well as the common products.

For example, chemical drain cleaners tend to be pretty corrosive and can easily burn your skin. However, alternative drain cleaners such as baking soda, hot water, and vinegar are relatively safe.

Wash up Afterwards

Lastly, wash up after you are done with whatever task involved the chemical use. How you should wash up depends on the product's safety instructions, whether any of the chemicals spilled on your skin, and the potency of the chemicals.

In fact, in some cases, you should stop and wash chemicals off your skin immediately if any spills on you. Something like battery acid, for example, should not stay on your skin for even a second. For general chemicals such as weed killers or general-purpose cleaners, take a shower after you are done.

Hopefully, the above tips will help you avoid skin damage from common household chemicals. If you do suffer skin damage, however, know that Dermatology Center of Newton-Rockdale, P.C., is always ready to help you prevent or limit the damage. Contact us for a diagnosis and treatment to get your skin back to normal.