Can baking soda burn your skin?

This brief guide will explore the query: “Can baking soda burn your skin?” Also, we’ll address what baking soda is, what its uses are, how it should be stored, and what precautions one should take when handling baking soda. 

 Can baking soda burn your skin?

Yes, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can cause mild burns, dryness, and irritation on the skin when mixed with water and applied (or left on). 

As baking soda has a pH level of 9, and the skin’s pH level fluctuates between 4.5 to 5.5, exposure to the alkaline powder may do away with the oily secretions of the skin and may result in lesions that can lead to discomfort. 

If these lesions are not treated properly, they may even lead to sepsis and other complications.   

How can I treat burns inflicted by baking soda

Treatment of burns will depend on their severity. In the case of baking soda, which may inflict mild caustic burns on the skin. First aid will consist in cooling the skin with running water and gently washing away the baking powder with soap.

Once finished, the burn should be left to air out and slowly cool. Sudden temperature changes may inflict further damage to the skin cells and worsen the pain or discomfort. 

No ointments or gels should be applied immediately after, as they may further alter the skin’s pH and cause more damage. If the discomfort is particularly unbearable, over-the-counter analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication can be taken to mitigate it.

In patients with diabetes and other preexisting conditions, in which healing may be delayed or the burns more serious as to cause blistering. It may be necessary to consult with a general practitioner and see if the lesion will require debriding. 

What is baking soda

Baking soda, chemically known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white, powdery, crystalline compound that is water-soluble and can be found naturally, or chemically synthesized. 

When mixed with a moderately strong acid, it releases carbon dioxide gas, and for this reason, it is commonly used in the manufacturing of carbonated (fizzy) drinks, and for baking bread, when mixed with yeast. 

Not to be confused with baking powder, which is baking soda mixed with an acid in an exact proportion, to achieve the bubbling effect and neutralize its alkaline taste. 

Also, it is used as a main component in some fire extinguishers, due to its non-flammable nature, and can be used as a deodorizer, and cleaning product. 

How should I store baking soda?

The first step in storing baking soda is determining its use. A box of deodorizing baking soda can be stored in a fridge and left open to absorb smells, though it won’t be of much use for other things. 

A box of baking soda intended for cooking should be stored in a cabinet or pantry shelf, away from high temperatures, and kept sealed. 

Once the original packaging (which is usually a sealed plastic bag inside a carton) has been opened, it can be transferred to a sealing freezer bag.All the air should be pushed out to avoid humidity from setting into the powder.

Sealed, baking soda will not absorb odors or humidity and can be used for cooking as needed, and may keep for 2 to 3 years. 

It’s important to note that whenever extracting bikini soda from its sealed bag or container, one should always use dry utensils to scoop it out, as any water droplets or added humidity will shorten its shelf life.

What precautions should I take when handling baking soda

There are a few precautions to be taken when handling baking soda, even though for the most part, it is a low-risk chemical. 

It’s important to handle it without dispersing the fine particles into the air, as inhaling it can cause damage to one’s lungs and airways. It may cause sneezing and coughing in those with sensitivities.

If a high volume is consumed rapidly, it may irritate the gastrointestinal lining, which is why one should always be mindful to clean off any utensils used to handle it, such as spoons.

Washing one’s hands to avoid letting it get into one’s eyes is also important, as it can cause redness and swelling.

If handling baking soda and one has moisture on his or her hands, it’s important to immediately rinse off any powder with running water, as its alkaline nature may tamper with the skin’s natural pH, and induce mild caustic burns. 

Contrary to some online tips and recipes, baking soda should not be used as an exfoliating product as unlike commercially formulated exfoliants; it may be too alkaline, have an excessively abrasive effect, and the reaction to it varies from person to person, along with the pH of the skin. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve explored the query: “Can baking soda burn your skin?” Also, we’ve addressed what baking soda is, what its uses are, how it should be stored, and what precautions to take when handling baking soda. 

References

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-baking-soda-p2-1328637

https://www.wikihow.com/Store-Baking-Soda

https://www.healthline.com/health/baking-soda-for-face#What-to-use-instead

https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/first-aid-and-emergencies-20/emergencies-and-first-aid-news-227/burns-treatment-and-prevention-644682.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468912219300227#f0010

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/baking-soda-for-skin#risks

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.