Factors that Determine the Severity of a Chemical Burn

Chemical burns occur when the skin comes to contact with corrosive chemicals. In order to determine how severe a chemical burn is, several factors need to be checked. First, the degree of the chemical burn needs to be considered. This translates to how deep the burn penetrates the skin. For instance, second and third degree burns penetrate the outer layer of the skin to the tissues underneath.

Secondly, the location of the burn needs to be considered. This involves checking which parts of the body have been affected in order to determine the extent of damage caused by the corrosive chemicals to the specific body parts(Sykes et al. 1986). For instance, a chemical burn on the face could have different a different impact thanthat on the thigh.

Thirdly, complications that accompany the chemical burn are another factor that would determine the severity of a burn. This involves checking for other complications like diabetes,respiratory problems and heart disease or any other pre-existing conditions that may interfere with the recovery process as well as prevent the latter from healing (Lewis, 2008).

Another factor is the specific source of the burn. This is because different chemicals react differently. While some may cause adverse damage others can cause less severe damage to the body (Mozingo et al. 1988).  Identifying the source of the chemical burn not only helps to identify the sereneness but also the kind of treatment approach used.

Chemical burns have various hazardous effects on the body. Apart from damaging tissues, they can result in blindness if in contact with the eyes. When breathed in, the chemicals burn the inner lining of the lungs causing a build-up of fatal liquid (Leonard et al. 1982).

Another hazard of chemical burns is change in skin pigmentation. The corrosive nature of some chemicals cause a permanent change in the skin color. The change may affect one since the pigmentation often results in loss of melanin cells that prevent the skin from harmful sun rays. Finally, chemical burns can result in severe damaging of the digestive tract when ingested. This may lead to a person’s disability to swallow and in most cases fatal digestive complications.

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