phenol poisoning

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phenol poisoning

Intoxication or chemical burns of the skin caused by exposure to carbolic acid–containing compounds, as found in some dyes, deodorizers, and disinfectants. These substances are corrosive to the skin and mucous membranes.


The patient may present with coagulative necrosis of affected skin or mucous membranes or with evidence of internal organ damage.


Contaminated clothing should be removed immediately. The skin should then be irrigated with copious amounts of water and either isopropyl alcohol or a solution containing polyethylene glycol. Patients who have ingested phenols should be treated with activated charcoal to absorb as much toxin as possible and be given general supportive care. Consultation with specialists in toxicology, otorhinolaryngology, and critical care medicine, may be necessary in cases of massive or severe exposure.

See also: poisoning
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