Chemical burns: pathophysiology and treatment

Burns. 2010 May;36(3):295-304. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.07.009. Epub 2009 Oct 28.


Chemical burns continue to pose a variety of dilemmas to the clinician managing such cases. Assessment of burn depth is often difficult and the decision whether to excise the wound early is not always clear-cut. In this updated review, common agents are classified and the basic principles of management and specific recommendations are examined. The complications arising from exposure to these chemicals and the supportive measures needed during treatment are also described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / adverse effects
  • Alkalies / adverse effects
  • Burns, Chemical / etiology
  • Burns, Chemical / physiopathology*
  • Burns, Chemical / therapy*
  • Chemical Warfare Agents / adverse effects
  • First Aid / methods
  • Humans
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods


  • Acids
  • Alkalies
  • Chemical Warfare Agents