Following caustic injury to the skin with an alkaline agent the effected area should initially be:A) Treated with running water or saline for 30 minutes
The treatment for both types of injuries is based on neutralization of the inciting solution and starts with running distilled water or saline over the affected skin for at least 30 minutes for acidic solutions and 2 hours for alkaline injuries. It should be noted that neutralizing agents do not offer a significant advantage over dilution with water, may delay treatment, and may worsen the injury due to the exothermic reaction that may occur. The clinician observes and treats based on the degree of presentation. Many cases are successfully managed conservatively with topical emollients and oral analgesics, and most cases result in edema, erythema, and induration. If signs of deep second-degree burns develop, local wound care may include debridement, Silvadene, and protective petroleum gauze. In severe cases, injury to the underlying vessels, bones, muscle, and tendon may occur, and these cases may be managed within 24 hours by liposuction through a small catheter and then saline injection. Surgery is indicated for tissue necrosis, uncontrolled pain, or deep-tissue damage. Antibiotics should not be administered unless signs of infection are present.