Nitrogen burn

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

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Nitrogen is dangerous because it can cause severe burns as a result of contact with the skin. In case of penetration inside, you can get a serious burn of the stomach, mucous membranes, respiratory tract (in case of inhalation of fumes). Toxic substances spread throughout the body through the circulatory system. Therefore, if a nitrogen burn was obtained, the first aid should be quickly provided to the victim.

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Causes of the burn with nitrogen

The nitrogen burn is a chemical type damage - it occurs due to the traumatic effect of acids on the tissues. Typically, such injuries are the result of non-compliance with safety regulations, which is provided for the case of working with this chemical, and in addition, because of accidents in industries or in the home. There may be a suicide attempt as a result.

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After contact with the skin in a liquid or drip form, nitric acid leaves behind a dry scab which, due to the xantoprotein reaction, has a yellowish-green hue. In the tissues coagulation necrosis that penetrates the papillary layer of the dermis develops, and in some cases passes even deeper. Around this part of the skin there is a site on which swelling and hyperemia develops. Heals such a burn for a long time - in severe cases, this process can last 40-50 days, and further on this place a scar is formed.

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Symptoms of the burn with nitrogen

Symptoms of burns from nitrogen are such manifestations: a solid, dried crust that has clear boundaries only in the area of the burn, thus standing out against the background of a healthy skin. From the burn with nitrogen, the skin on the lesion site acquires a light shade of yellow-green or yellow-brown color. It should be noted that usually acid burns are superficial.

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Depending on the degree of severity of the resulting burn, the following stages can be distinguished:

  • Development of erythema;
  • The appearance of a bubble;
  • Cutaneous neurosis;
  • The consequences of negative effects, manifested not only on the skin.

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Complications and consequences

The toxicity transferred as a result of influence of nitrogen can have rather heavy consequences. For example, due to the ingress of vapors of substance into the eyes, changes in the eye cornea may begin, as well as ectropion. After a skin burn, scars or scars may remain on it. Nitrogen poisoning can also affect the nervous system - in the form of simple disorders or psychoses.

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Differential diagnosis

It is necessary to conduct differential diagnosis of burns with alkalis and acids. For this you need to pay attention to the following signs:

  • When burned with acid, the protein folding reaction takes place, resulting in a scab forming that does not allow the acid to pass into tissues that are located deeper beneath the skin;
  • Burns with alkalis are accompanied by protein hydrolysis, in which the scab does not occur - because of this tissue is damaged deeper.

Differentiating the burn with nitrogen with burns of other acids can be by the color in which the skin is stained at the site of damage.

Treatment of the burn with nitrogen

In the case of nitric acid on the skin, you need to quickly render the first honey. Help. This is done as follows: the affected area should be held under water for about 15 minutes. Then you need to use a solution of soda, to use it again to wash the skin. If the burn is weak, this should be enough, but if the severity is quite high - you need to see a doctor.

Alternative treatment

There are several methods of alternative treatment that can be used as a first aid and can speed up the healing of the skin in case of burns with nitrogen.

Applications using raw potatoes: grate potatoes, apply the resulting mass to the burn site and hold for 5-7 minutes. This method speeds up the restoration of tissues and local immunity, and also removes inflammation.

Cooled to a temperature of 13-15 of the C green tea, which is used as a tonic and coolant.

Fresh aloe juice - impregnated bandage of gauze should be applied to the injured place for 10 minutes. Do not fix it with a bandage to avoid damaging the skin. A similar procedure can be carried out using calendula tincture instead of aloe.

Grind up the mulberry leaf or plantain, then hold the mixture on the burn for 10 minutes.

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More information of the treatment


As a preventive measure, follow the safety rules when working with nitric acid: wear gas mask and overalls, do not neglect personal hygiene. It is also important that jobs are well ventilated - to avoid the risk of inhaling poisonous vapors. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that acid does not spill.

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A nitrogen burn can have a different degree of damage, area and localization - this also determines the prognosis for such an injury. It also depends on the age of the victim, the state of his health and body, the circumstances that accompanied the burn, and in addition to this possible development in the future of infectious complications.

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