tar removal - page 2

Any suggestions for removal of tar on a severe burn victim, without doing further damage?... Read More

  1. by   Patient_Care_Asst
    Let's apply basic chemistry into this equation.

    You have to think about this in terms of using one chemical to remove another.

    Tar is a thermal plastic liquid material extracted from coal.

    Coal tar solidifies or liquefies. It reaches a fluid motion state at approx. 180 degrees F.

    Tar needs a chemical link to break it down for it's removal. This chemical removal process is called emulsification.

    In my own experience I find that soaking undiluted Pine Sol on tar for a period of time is especially effective in removing tar. Some orange based cleaners also contain effective emulsifying agents and are less volatile than the idea of using solvents or diesel fuel.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Sep 23, '07
  2. by   NativeSundance
    I believe there is a product made especially for that called Medi-Sol. You pharmacy should have it. You can also use baby oil, petroleum jelly or mayo. The tar has to be cold first. If it is still warm/hot when they come in, soak it in cold water. Don't attempt to scrape it off. You'll do more damage to the skin. Get it cold and then peel it off using Medi-Sol. Takes forever. Good luck!
  3. by   OPCC
    Peanut oil works Great!
  4. by   bigsyis
    We used to use Bacitracin. I had a pt who tried to jump across a freshly tarred/asphalted road in FL in the summertime IN SHORTS. Guess what? He didn't make it, and fell onto his forearms, face, knees, and lower legs. We didn't have tubes of Bacitracin but I used a gazillion packets of it and got most of it off. I basically think that any petroleum-based ointment would work, but maybe it is oil of any kind since folks have mentioned mineral oil and mayo.
  5. by   Vikingkitten
    Quote from jimminy
    Any suggestions for removal of tar on a severe burn victim, without doing further damage?

    Had a hospital roofer brought in to the ER (small town, about 30 years ago) after slipping on something and plunging his hand into a bucket of hot tar. Tried the Betadine brush the Dr. gave me, but after having no progress after about 20 min. he came into the ER room with a can of Ether! I kid you not! You can find some of the most amazing things in a small town hospital! Anyway, using a towel , it began to just melt off using the Ether! Of course, I wasn't upright by the time most of it was gone, as I was a patient in the Recovery Room! :chuckle Couldn't have felt more foolish if I had tried, but it worked! Only in small-town America!
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    if your not a burn center...

    cool burns using water (ie stop the burning process) sent patietn to a burn center. Burn centers frown on anything bbeing applied to burns.

  7. by   prmenrs
    Just thought I'd point out that this thread was started in 2001.
  8. by   northshore08
    Somebody out there is or has been a burn nurse, or is familiar with protocols for burn centers. Please teach us what your center wants...all the burn centers I have ever known of have always been very vocal about care for burn victims.

    If you are lurking, now's the time!!!

    P.S. all the EDs I have worked in have used oil-based products of some sort; mineral, baby, bacitracin, vaseline.....
    Last edit by northshore08 on Jul 16, '08 : Reason: found the old burn nurse thread
  9. by   northshore08
    Quote from prmenrs
    Just thought I'd point out that this thread was started in 2001.
    Hey, prmenrs...just goes to show you that all the old stuff is new again! Ha!