Lye Burn

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Emmamc94

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Im new to soap making and was trying some piping today only the soap was hardening too quickly and the piping bag split, I got half set soap all over my hands and it started burning and itching, the surface burning stopped after I washed it off but im left with burning in the edge of my thumb nail. I have two questions, can lye in unset soap burn or is it a reaction to something else in the soap? and is it serious if it gets under the nail and I cant neutralize it?
 

DeeAnna

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Lye in raw soap batter can most definitely burn, and yes it's a problem. How big of a problem depends on the particular situation. It might be a painful burn, but will heal up fine with time, but the sooner you attend to this problem, the less damage will occur.

DON'T try to neutralize lye on the skin. Rinse immediately with water to REMOVE it. Trim the nail back so you can remove as much residue as possible. Use dish detergent to dissolve the fats. See or call your health care person for advice if the injury is painful and inflamed.

It would have been a good idea to wear gloves. I hope you were also wearing eye protection.
 

Emmamc94

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Lye in raw soap batter can most definitely burn, and yes it's a problem. How big of a problem depends on the particular situation. It might be a painful burn, but will heal up fine with time, but the sooner you attend to this problem, the less damage will occur.

DON'T try to neutralize lye on the skin. Rinse immediately with water to REMOVE it. Trim the nail back so you can remove as much residue as possible. Use dish detergent to dissolve the fats. See or call your health care person for advice if the injury is painful and inflamed.

It would have been a good idea to wear gloves. I hope you were also wearing eye protection.
I do use gloves but I removed them to do the piping, I wont be making that mistake again. Thanks for the advice, the area is slightly inflamed but burning is more tolerable now. I know to be way more careful in the future.
 

DeeAnna

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After removing the lye, treat the injury like a heat burn -- keep it covered, moist (water based salve, not oil based), and cool.

And if you have any doubts whatsoever about the injury, check with a healthcare person. It doesn't sound like a large injury, but if the lye was allowed to stay under the nail for some time, the injury could be deeper and take more time to heal than you might expect.
 

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