ZocdocAnswersHow do you treat a chemical burn from pesticide?

Question

How do you treat a chemical burn from pesticide?

A friend of mine was out walking her dog and a guy drove by and sprayed a chemical on her. The doctor thought it may have been a pesticide burn but one ER doctor told her to use antibiotic ointment and then another doctor told her not to do that. She's in a lot of pain. What can she use to help it heal and to numb the pain? Also what is the time frame on the healing of this type of burn?

Answer

This is a very unfortunate problem, and I am sorry to hear that this happened to her. Without knowing more information about the chemical, it is hard to know exactly how to treat the problem. Poison control might have some advice or be able to make recommendations, and they can be a valuable resource when a person has exposure to a strange or different chemical. In general, however, even they are very much limited when not much is known about the nature of the chemical that was sprayed. It is good that you have seen an emergency department doctor and another physician as well, as they are able to help you with the immediate first steps of cleaning the wound and some advice about how to treat it. As for whether to cover the wound with an antibiotic ointment or not, there could be value in either approach, which could best be determined by seeing the wound in person. If the spot is still not healing despite the steps that you have already taken and the doctors that you have seen, a dermatologist may be able to provide the next level of assistance. Please speak with your doctor about this.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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