Did you know that the skin is not a tissue? It’s actually the largest organ of the body. Skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, specialized nerve endings as well as sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system, which has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation. Here are some other fascinating facts:
- Your skin could weigh more than 20 pounds.
- Your skin renews itself every 28 to 30 days.
- Your skin is host to billions of creatures.
- Your gut and your skin work together.
Now that you know how amazing your skin is, you can see why we left “skin” for the final post of the “Uh Oh…I shouldn’t have put/gotten that on my…” blog series. Since adhesives (like super glue) have been a recurring topic throughout this blog series, there’s no better way to start this post than with the case of the man glued to a car muffler!
Image credit: Facebook
A man called IPC because his friend’s hand was glued to a car muffler. The friend had offered to hold the muffler while the caller used a muffler repair kit, which contained a super glue-like substance. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before the friend realized that his hand was glued to the muffler! The solution: time and patience. Nothing else can quickly dissolve this type of adhesive.
When someone calls the IPC with adhesive stuck to skin, we recommend soaking it in mineral oil, but it still takes a while! It is fairly common for people to super glue their skin to an object when they are holding it together waiting for the adhesive to dry. Be careful next time you have to repair a broken figurine (or something much larger!).
Image Credit: Amazon.com
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser:
The advertisement calls it “a wall cleaner, bathtub cleaner, oven door cleaner, light switch cleaner, doors cleaner, and more cleaner, all rolled into one.” We’re here to tell you that it’s definitely not a skin cleaner – no matter how many blogs tell you it is!
- A parent once called the IPC after they used the Magic Eraser on their child because, just prior to a ballet lesson, their child had covered herself in marker. The Magic Eraser had removed the marker ink—as well as but unfortunately, removed some skin, leaving the area “raw.” Because the Magic Eraser works like very fine sandpaper, the child developed multiple painful dermal abrasions.
- Beauty blogs and YouTube posts continue to recommend the Magic Eraser as a way of removing streaks or tan lines resulting from the application of self-tanners. IPC warns against the use of the Magic Eraser in this situation, as it can damage your skin. Many who have tried this report “they ended up in ‘agony’ after giving themselves ‘chemical burns’ from using magic erasers to remove their fake bake.” Enough said!
You probably already know about poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, but do you know about the following plants that could irritate your skin?
- Dumbcane/Dieffenbachia: Take care when pruning this plant. If you don’t wear the proper skin protection, the plant’s calcium oxalate crystals can become imbedded into your skin, causing a sharp, burning pain. Always wear gloves when working with this plant!
- Euphorbia Plant: People often mistake this plant for cactus and use on their skin. Unlike cactus oil, which is used in cosmetics to soothe and hydrate skin and reduce inflammation, euphorbia sap causes skin damage. Applying it to your body can cause skin irritation, burning in the eyes and mouth, redness, swelling and pain.
Dieffenbachia image source: Avas Flowers
Euphorbia plant image source: Etsy
A woman called IPC after mistaking a tube of capsaicin cream for her Retin A cream. She applied it to her whole face before she realized her mistake. Even worse, she did so while she was driving.
Capsaicin is the substance in chili peppers that makes them spicy. Applying capsaicin cream to the skin can help block pain messages to your nerves. Studies show capsaicin creams and patches can help relieve pain from joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle sprains and strains, migraines/other severe headaches. The cream can also irritate your skin and cause pain, redness and swelling, soreness, dryness, burning and itching. Always follow the directions carefully before use.
Image Credit: Walgreens
To prevent these or similar issues, we encourage you to always:
- Carefully read and follow instructions for any medicine or product. Read instructions in a well-lit area and wear glasses when necessary;
- Never use other products to try to remove something from your skin without first consulting a healthcare professional (doing so could result in more damage);
- Always store things in their original, fully labeled containers in the appropriate locations;
- If you are handling or walking through unknown plants, wear skin protection such as gardening gloves, long pants, socks and shoes;
- Wear gloves if you are working with super glue or other heavy-duty adhesive—if your finger(s) gets in the way, at least you can just pull off the glove and not spend the next few days attached to a muffler!
MOST OF ALL, DON’T PANIC!
If something happens, don’t hesitate to call IPC’s free, confidential 24/7/365 expert helpline at 800-222-1222. No question or issue is too big or too small (or too embarrassing). Just call!
IPC’s website features these free resources:
- Complimentary Safety Packet (available in English and Spanish; includes sticker, magnet and first aid tips)
- Poison Prevention Education Course and Resources (available in both English and Spanish)
- Information on Continuing Education Credit (CEC) (available for Illinois nursing, EMS, childcare and Early Intervention professionals)
All the best to you and yours, Vickie
P.S. Got an experience to share or want to hear more about? Leave us a comment below and/or email us at IPCadmin@team-iha.org!
- Uh oh! I shouldn’t have put that…in my mouth! (part 1)
- Uh Oh! I shouldn’t have put that…in my mouth! (part 2)
- Uh Oh! I shouldn’t have put that . . . in my mouth (part 3). . . Pediatric summertime ingestions, the not-so-good, the bad and the ugly
- Uh Oh! I shouldn’t have put that…in my nose!
- Uh oh! I shouldn’t have put/gotten that…in my eye(s)!