Cement is broadly used construction, so cement burns are serious problem for the people working around cement. Cement burn is a kind of chemical burn on skin which effect is felt after a day or two when the symptoms, including blisters, skin discoloration and dead skin appear. To the treatment of concrete or cement burns read the following article.
Dry cement is calcium oxide, a harmless and quite impartial material that is unlikely to cause significant damage to anyone. The cement becomes calcium hydroxide, once it is combined with water in preparation for laying which is a heavily alkaline substance with a pH level of around 12 or 13. Human skin has a pH level of 5.5, as a result contact with calcium hydroxide can cause serious chemical burns eventually. Even if the skin is no longer in contact with the calcium hydroxide, the burns can continue to get worse. Direct contact with wet cement or concrete may cause chemical burns to your skin or eyes. Turning the affected area blue or purple tint, cement burns frequently cause discoloration of the worker’s skin. At the site of the burn severe blistering is also very common and can cause serious pain and discomfort for a long time after the incident.
Symptoms of Cement burns:
- Painful lesions
- Skin drying
How to treat Cement Burns on Skin?
Take away the clothes or boots that have wet concrete or other wet cement mixtures. If the wet cement is in contact with your skin for longer time, the risk for suffering a cement burn is more. Brush away dry specks of cement and wash the skin with lukewarm water for 20 minutes to take away any cement residue.
Add a neutralizing agent like white vinegar to the rinse water as the cement is highly alkaline. If vinegar is not obtainable, apply citrus juice a neutralizing agent with mild acidic properties. Keep pH-neutral cleansers on hand if you regularly work with wet cement.
Cement burns to the eyes cause from not wearing safety eyewear when working with wet cement. Instant rinsing of the eyes with clear water is essential for at least 20 minutes. Even if the worker does not experience pain or vision disturbance, contact an ophthalmologist for advice.
The day after contact with wet cement might become a severe, caustic burn in a few days, what appears to be reddened skin. Rash, followed by inflammation and itching, swelling and then blistering are the initial symptoms. Monitor the skin and contact a health professional if symptoms worsen after a few days.
Because the high calcium level in Portland cement leaches moisture from the skin, workers may think applying a lotion or skin-softening agent like lanolin, will protect and nourish the skin. But these products can trap the caustic solution on the skin’s surface, where it can cause more damage.
Cement burn may need medical attention if it is severe. Antibiotic treatment, daily soaks of antiseptic, such as iodine or povidone, or hospitalization for debridement of the dead and damaged tissue are included in the medical attention.
Other Treatments for cement burns:
- Apply aloe vera gel on the skin surface, it help to sooth the skin and also acts as an antiseptic agent. Start applying calendula lotion or ointment on the skin surface, if slightest doubt of impending burn symptoms is observed. This will decrease blister formation and heal the wound early.
- Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water to which a few drops of virgin coconut oil have been added. Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the skin and as it is rich in antioxidants it will protect your skin from further damage.
- Personal protective equipment such as protective gloves and clothing, kneepads, work boots etc. are necessary for both skin care and health care.
- Massage your hands daily using a mixture of almond oil and castor oil to restore lost oils.
- Glycerin balms can help moisturize dry itchy skin. Secondary infections are a threat with intense itching.
- It would be advisable to use soaps that are slightly acidic or pH neutral in order to create a balance and minimize skin damage since the root cause is increased alkalinity.
- It is better to replace the entire piece, if the protective clothing has developed cracks and the cement has started to seep through, as repairing it might not eliminate the seepage completely.
- The pits are in fact small open wounds that attract bacterial and fungal infections, so it is important that they are cleaned daily using an antiseptic.
- Apple cider vinegar is recommended for remedy from itching and inflammation due to cement by soaking the effected parts in a vinegar bath.
- As this condition robs the skin moisture as well as its natural oils, it leaves it hardened, rough and dry. Therefore use an antibacterial and antifungal cream to massage the skin every night.
- Lancing is frequently done to ease pressure and promote drainage of pus from large, hard, abscessed areas.
- Bathing in a warm bath with sea salt can help reduce inflamed tissue, relieve itching, and help dry out weeping lesions and sores.
- Many people may have to change the job to avoid frequent contact with cement to escape from recurring skin trauma and respiratory issues.