Welding is a process that uses heat to join metals together. It can be a very useful process, but it can also be dangerous. Welding produces sparks and intense heat, which can easily cause burns on your skin.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to protect yourself from welding burns on skin and discuss the symptoms of burns and the treatment options available. We will also discuss how to avoid welding sunburn.
What Kind of Injuries Can You Get from Welding?
Welding can cause a variety of injuries, but the most common are burns.
Welding also produces UV rays, which can cause sunburns. In extreme cases, welding can also cause blindness.
There are three main degrees of burns that you can get from welding:
- First-degree burns are the least serious and only affect the outer layer of skin. They usually heal within a few days and don’t require medical treatment.
- Second-degree burns go deeper and affect the second layer of skin. They’re more painful than first-degree burns and usually take longer to heal. Second-degree burns may require medical treatment, such as antibiotics or pain medication.
- Third-degree burns are the most serious and affect all layers of skin. They can also damage bones, muscles, and tendons. Third-degree burns usually require surgery and hospitalization.
Welders are also at risk for other injuries, such as eye injuries from the bright flashes of light produced by welding. Welders should always wear proper eye protection when welding.
How Welding Causes Burns
Welding involves using high-intensity ultraviolet (UV) light. This UV light can cause burns on your skin in two ways:
- The UV light can cause sunburn-like symptoms (erythema) on your skin. This is called photokeratitis or welder’s flash.
- The heat from the welding arc can cause burns on your skin. These burns are similar to other thermal burns and can be just as severe.
What Are the Symptoms of Welding Burn?
The symptoms of a welding burn depend on how deep the burn is. First-degree burns usually cause redness, swelling, and pain. Second-degree burns cause all of those symptoms plus blisters and more severe pain. Third-degree burns cause blackened or charred skin, severe pain, and possible nerve damage.
Types of Welding Burns
There are two types of welding burns: thermal and electrical.
- Thermal welding burns happen when the heat from the weld penetrates your skin.
- Electrical welding burns happen when you come into contact with an electrically charged object, like an electrode.
Both types of welding burns can be painful and cause serious damage to your skin.
Flash burns are the most common type of welding burn. They happen when the bright light from the welding torch comes into contact with your skin. Flash burns can be very painful and cause redness, swelling, and blistering.
To prevent flash burns, always wear protective clothing, like a welding helmet or gloves. Never look directly at the welding torch while it is in use. If you are working in a confined space, make sure there is ventilation to remove any dangerous fumes.
If you do get a flash burn, immediately remove any clothing that has been burned by the Welding torch. Rinse the area with cool water for at least five minutes to ease the pain and help prevent further damage. Apply a sterile bandage to the area to protect it from infection.
See a doctor if the burn is more than just a red, painful area on your skin. If you have any blisters or open wounds, seek medical attention immediately. Welding burns can be very serious and should always be treated by a professional.
How to Treat Welding Burns on Skin?
Welding burns on the skin can be extremely painful and cause long-term damage if not treated properly. To avoid welding burns on the skin, always wear the proper protective gear, including gloves, goggles, and a welding helmet. If you do experience a welding burn on the skin, follow these steps to treat it:
- Remove any clothing or jewelry that is covering the burn.
- Rinse the wound with cool water for at least 5 minutes.
- Apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the wound.
- Cover the wound with a sterile adhesive bandage or wrap.
- Repeat steps 2-4 as necessary until the wound heals.
If you have a severe welding burn on the skin, seek medical attention immediately.
With proper care, most welding burns will heal within a few days to a week. However, some burns may require more extensive treatment, such as skin grafts or surgery. If you have any questions or concerns about welding burns on the skin, talk to your doctor today.
Cool Down the Burnt Area
If you have a welding burn, it’s important to cool down the area as quickly as possible. This will help reduce swelling and pain. You can do this by running cold water over the area for at least five minutes.
If the burn is more serious, you’ll need to seek medical attention right away. Welding burns can be very painful, so it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Disinfect the Wound
Once the area is cooled down, it’s time to disinfect the wound. This will help prevent infection. You can use a mild soap and water solution or an antiseptic solution. Be sure to rinse the wound well and dry it before applying any ointments or bandages.
Moisturize the Affected Area
After the wound is clean and dry, you’ll need to moisturize the area. This will help prevent scarring. You can use a variety of products, such as aloe vera gel, petroleum jelly, or lotion. Apply the product to the affected area and massage it into the skin.
Get Plenty of Fluids
It’s also important to stay hydrated when you have a welding burn. This will help your body heal the wound more quickly. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. You should also avoid caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you.
Welding Hazard for The Eyes
Welding can cause eye injuries if the welder is not wearing the appropriate safety glasses.
Arc eye can cause pain, blurry vision, and even temporary blindness.
To protect your eyes, always wear welding safety glasses that have been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Make sure the glasses fit properly and are comfortable to wear. Replace your safety glasses when they are damaged or scratched.
How to Avoid Welding Sunburn?
You should also wear a welding helmet or goggles to protect your eyes from the bright flashes of light produced by welding. In addition to wearing the proper safety gear, you should also be aware of your surroundings and take breaks often to avoid overheating.
A welding helmet is a necessary piece of safety equipment when welding. The helmet protects your face and eyes from the bright flashes of light produced by welding. Welding helmets also have a filter that helps to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays emitted by welding.
There are two types of welding helmets: auto-darkening and passive. Auto-darkening helmets have a lens that darkens automatically when it is exposed to the bright light of welding. Passive helmets have a fixed shade lens that does not darken automatically. Both types of helmets will provide adequate protection from the harmful effects of welding radiation.
When choosing a welding helmet, you should select one that has a comfortable fit and is compatible with your welding machine. Welding helmets are available in a variety of sizes, so it is important to choose one that will fit your head properly. You should also consider the weight of the helmet when making your selection. Helmets that are too heavy can cause neck fatigue and headaches.
Welding gloves are another important piece of safety gear. Welding gloves protect your hands from the heat and sparks produced by welding.
Welding gloves should be made of a fire-resistant material such as leather or Kevlar.
There are two types of welding gloves: lined and unlined.
- Lined welding gloves have an inner layer of material that helps to insulate your hands from the heat of welding.
- Unlined welding gloves do not have this inner layer and are more suitable for use in cooler environments.
When choosing welding gloves, you should select a pair that is comfortable and allows you to have a good grip on the welding torch. Welding gloves are available in a variety of sizes, so it is important to choose a size that will fit your hands properly.
You should also consider the type of welding you will be doing when making your selection.
Welding gloves should be replaced regularly to ensure that they provide adequate protection.
A welding jacket is a garment that is worn over your regular clothing to protect it from the heat and sparks produced by welding. Welding jackets are usually made of a fire-resistant material such as leather or Kevlar.
Welding jackets come in a variety of styles. Some have long sleeves and others have short sleeves. Some welding jackets also have hoods to help protect your head and face from the harmful effects of welding radiation.
When choosing a welding jacket, it is important to select one that is comfortable and allows you to move freely. Welding jackets should also be large enough to allow you to wear layers of clothing underneath for added protection.
Welding is a dangerous job but with the proper precautions, you can protect yourself from welding burns on skin. Wearing the right clothing and using the right equipment are essential in preventing these burns. If you do get burned, seek medical attention immediately and follow their care instructions for the best chance at a full recovery.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Stay safe out there!