Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Chemical burns?

I may have just learned a lesson the hard way. Probably a few lessons.

I’ve had these cruddy old canvas gloves since we first bought this house back in August. Since then I’ve used them for everything from stripping paint to cleaning metal with ammonia, to wiping things with mineral spirits, and pulling dusty clothes out of the foundation to spray in insulation foam. These gloves have seen it all. But that long lived loyalty may have been my undoing. Seems that during my last session of paint stripping, I received some minor chemical burns on my hands. I should have known better than to use canvas gloves for any of the aforementioned jobs.

Anyway, the burns are minor, but I only now realized that I don’t know a thing about treating chemical burns! I washed my hands in cool water with a mild soap, patted them dry with a cotton towel, and haven’t applied any balms or lotions or anything, just kept them cool and dry. The sensation is like a bad sunburn.

I took some pictures. I know, I know, totally self indulgent. They’re not even that bad. You can barely see them in the pictures. But it’s my blog and I’m posting them anyway. 😛





And of course when I pushed my sleeve up, I got a nice chemical burn in the crook of my elbow. There’s one like this on my other arm but I couldn’t hold the camera with my left hand and get a picture of that one. Just take my word for it, it looks the same.


My course of action for now is just to keep them cool and dry and watch them carefully. I’ll welcome any suggestions you have (except to suck it up and stop posting pathetic pictures of myself on the intarwebs; I already know I’m a total dork.)

[tags]photos, chemicals, burns, hands, mineral spirits, first aid, safety[/tags]


2 Responses to “Chemical burns?”

  1. February 23rd, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    gimbler says:

    DO keep a good eye on the progress of your burns. I think it’s smart actually that you took photos. It’ll be easier to compare and see if they really are getting better or worse.

    I got a small chemical burn on my pinky a few months back and somehow convinced myself it was getting better the first couple of days that it was actually getting worse. By day 3 I couldn’t fool myself anymore and when I finally conceded that the neosporine wasn’t cutting it I went to the doctor and he prescribed a burn cream called “SSD” or “SDD” (Something that reminded me of “Same Shit, Different Day”. It worked like a charm.

  2. March 10th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    gw says:

    Leave those canvas gloves in the garden where they belong. Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to your health and safety! Here are a few things on my “must have” list. I would only consider #4 to be optional.

    1. 3M 6000 respirator with interchangeable paint and dust cartridges. The dust cartridges are cheap, lightweight, less bulky and rated for lead dust. We had do special order a size small for my wife. I won’t go near a broom, table saw, crawlspace or attic without one. $12-25.

    2. Atlas rubber palm/cloth backed blue work gloves. Get a few pair to keep in rotation in the washing machine. $4 ea.

    3. His and hers heavy duty cloth lined chemical gloves for paint strippers and solvents. Buy good ones- they will stay flexible so your fingers will not ache. $14 ea.

    4. Two 100ct. boxes (his and hers) quality disposable nitrile gloves for light chemical/cleaning/dirty work. $15 ea.

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