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Author Topic: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?  (Read 8866 times)

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Um, hi.

I have a question about Hydrochloric Acid. I was in science class about a month ago and I think I may have spilled some HCl on my hand. Now, on my palm, a clear blemish has popped up where I thought I spilled it. It's kind of yellowish, but no signs of pus inside.

Anyone know what's wrong?
« Last Edit: 22/03/2008 18:03:40 by chris »


 

Online Bored chemist

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #1 on: 16/03/2008 18:54:17 »
HCl stings a bit at the time but I doubt it would be producing any effect a month later- it's too small a molecule to stay around.
I can't think of any reasons for blisters on the palms of teenagers but perhaps you ought to take it to the doctor.
 

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #2 on: 16/03/2008 19:41:46 »
I forget, is the HCl bond covalent or ionic?
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #3 on: 16/03/2008 19:51:06 »
Ionic.

This could be a chemical burn but the time lapse is too long.
 

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #4 on: 16/03/2008 19:54:54 »
I don't know, a month is just a rough estimate.

But it doesn't seem like a burn.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #5 on: 16/03/2008 20:53:48 »
Mild acid burns can just look like a yellow mark. You may find the skin goes hard and peels off later. That is if it was the acid. Have you been smoking?
 

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #6 on: 16/03/2008 22:15:58 »
smoking? I'm 14 . . .

no.

but yes, the skin is kind of hard and is yellowish. And I'm 99% certain that was where the HCl ended up.
 

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #7 on: 17/03/2008 20:28:19 »
Except in the case of HF (and you would really know about that) a day is too long for an acid burn to show up; an hour before you noticed it would be odd. "Pretty near imediate" is my experience.

Incidentally, HCl is a covalent gas, but it dissolves in water to form essentially H+ and Cl- ions.
 

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #8 on: 18/03/2008 10:08:50 »
It sounds as if you got an infection in there. If it were me, I'd pop the blister and wash it out. But that's not what a Dr would tell you to do.
 

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Re: Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #9 on: 20/03/2008 02:02:28 »
well, what doctors tell me can be pretty painful, but I'm not even sure it can be popped.

I'll post a picture in a day or so (damn digital camera wont work)
 

Offline chris

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #10 on: 22/03/2008 18:27:20 »
Are you sure it was HCl and not nitric acid? I dropped nitric acid on my hand once and developed a yellow patch like that you describe. I suspect that, in that case, the pigmentation was an oxidation product resulting from the reaction between the acid and proteins in the skin.

 

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #11 on: 22/03/2008 21:23:47 »
I think the argument Bored Chemist put forward about the time span makes it less likely that it is a direct oxidation reaction.

My suspicion is that the blistering is just part of the healing process, where the newer skin is causing the damaged top layer of skin to detach.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #12 on: 22/03/2008 22:02:10 »
Um, hi.

I have a question about Hydrochloric Acid. I was in science class about a month ago and I think I may have spilled some HCl on my hand. Now, on my palm, a clear blemish has popped up where I thought I spilled it. It's kind of yellowish, but no signs of pus inside.

Anyone know what's wrong?

Sure it was not HNO3? That makes skin yellowish (and plastic-like) after some hours.
« Last Edit: 25/03/2008 21:15:22 by lightarrow »
 

Offline lightarrow

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #13 on: 22/03/2008 22:26:58 »
I forget, is the HCl bond covalent or ionic?

The percent ionic character of HCl is less than 26% so it's more covalent than ionic.

http://www.chem.unc.edu/undergrads/2006spring/chem11-2_morse/Percent_Ionic_Character.pdf
 

Offline lightarrow

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #14 on: 22/03/2008 22:32:00 »
Are you sure it was HCl and not nitric acid? I dropped nitric acid on my hand once and developed a yellow patch like that you describe. I suspect that, in that case, the pigmentation was an oxidation product resulting from the reaction between the acid and proteins in the skin.
Yes, it could be a nitrification of the -OH sites. If the process were brought at high levels, the skin could become flammable (or...no, explosive not...I hope so!  :))
 

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Why did acid contact with my skin leave a yellow patch?
« Reply #14 on: 22/03/2008 22:32:00 »

 

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