What Effect Does Battery Acid Have on Skin?

Acid is a chemical compound that contains hydrogen and other elements. This acid gets diluted with water or other liquids, but its effect on the skin remains. Similarly, battery acid is highly corrosive and can cause a lot of damage to your skin, eyes, and respiratory system if it comes into contact with them.

In extreme cases, battery acid ingestion has been known to lead to death. Most of them are the ones we use in our homes, which we should be aware of so we know what to do when contacting battery acid. Some of these are:

  • Alkaline batteries are the most commonly found in homes, causing more damage to your skin than other types of acids.
  • Car batteries contain sulfuric acid, which causes severe burns to the skin, and you must treat them quickly.
  • Lithium batteries—are commonly found in laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. They are highly dangerous as they contain lithium, a highly reactive metal that causes burns to the skin even at low concentrations of acid on your skin.

What does battery acid do to the skin?

Battery acid can be dangerous or harmless to the skin, depending on the concentration. When there is a higher concentration of acid present on your skin, it will burn and cause severe damage if left untreated. At the same time, low concentrations might not cause pain or discomfort but must be attended to immediately. When you accidentally touched battery acid, you may receive a chemical burn. Treating this type of burn requires immediate first aid to prevent further injury.

What happens if battery acid gets on your skin?

If you think your skin may be coming into contact with battery acid, you can look for some signs. Some people experience immediate pain, while others may not notice anything until later down the line when their clothes begin smelling strange or getting discarded because they don’t want anything touching them anymore. Signs of a chemical burn include redness around the irritated area(s), swelling in the affected area(s), blisters filled with yellowish liquid, itching, and tenderness.

Furthermore, suppose battery acid gets in contact with eyes, lips, ingested, or inhaled. In that case, symptoms that may occur are coughing, tightness of the throat, wheezing or shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and muscle seizures. Immediately seek medical attention if any of these symptoms are present. Remember that touching battery acid is very dangerous.

How to get battery acid off the skin?

Treatment depends on the level of exposure and the kind of acid your skin was exposed to. Here are some things you can do to treat the skin as your first aid:

  • Alkaline Battery Acid: The best way to deal with this is to avoid spreading the acid. To do this, you should remove any jewelry and clothing so that it doesn’t get worse. Rinse the irritated area with clean water for around 20 to 30 minutes as soon as feasible. Instead of a hard spray, try using a gentle water flow to minimize the damage. Caution:  (a) Do not wipe or rub the affected area; (b) Do not wipe or rub the affected area; (c) Monitor the area for how long it takes to stop the burning sensation; and (d) If burning continues, seek medical attention.
  • Car Battery Acid: The best way to treat skin exposed to sulfuric acid is by washing the affected area with lots of water and soap if possible.
  • Lithium Battery: Spontaneous fires, high temperatures, and toxic gas and smoke emissions can all be caused by malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries. If a lithium-ion battery causes a fire and burns you, seek immediate medical help or call 911.

Therefore, generally, it’s best to wear safety goggles and gloves, keep your face away from the batteries at all times, and don’t taste any liquid that may come from a punctured container or spilled battery.

What happens if you touch battery acid?

If you accidentally touch battery acid, it will cause burns. The severity of the burns depends on how strong the acid is and how long you were in contact with it. Usually, the stronger the acid, the more severe the burns will be. Battery acid is also corrosive, damaging your clothing and other materials that come into contact with it. If you have any battery acid on skin, wash it off immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

How long does it take for battery acid to burn skin?

Some of these burns won’t manifest immediately, depending on the severity. It can take a few minutes to a few hours for the acid to burn your skin at its worst. 


In conclusion, battery acid can cause severe damage to the skin and can be dangerous. However, if you treat it as soon as possible, no permanent damage will be done. Understanding the symptoms and effects of exposure to battery acid is vital in knowing how to treat it. Remember that prevention is better than trying to treat the skin after exposure. If you come into contact with battery acid, ensure that you rinse your skin and head to the hospital for treatment if needed.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.