Mrs Hinch fan left with ‘rotting Creme Egg sized burn from cleaning product’

An NHS worker says she was left with a ‘rotting’ Creme Egg-sized chemical burn after burning herself with a cult cleaning product.

Becky Page claims she was left needing a skin graft after doctors found the fluid had slowly been burning away her flesh and killing nerve endings.

The 25-year-old follower of cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch is now urging anyone who comes into contact with harsh chemicals in cleaning products, such as sodium hydroxide, to wash the area immediately.

Becky was cleaning the inside of her cooker with Oven Brite earlier this month and accidentally dipped her lower left arm in the product.

As it didn’t sting, she wiped her arm on her top and continued to clean oblivious that it could cause any damage.

Later that week the mark on her arm swelled and the skin turned black – prompting a colleague to urge her to visit A&E.

There doctors carried out a PH test and discovered the cleaning fluid was still on her arm and had been slowly burning away her flesh and killing nerve endings, she says.

Becky, an operating department practitioner, was then referred to a burns unit where she underwent surgery on her necrotic flesh and had a skin graft.

She admits the cleaning product has warnings that it shouldn't come into contact with the skin and says she'll continue to use it.

Becky, from Minsterley, Shropshire, said: “I just felt a bit daft that I wasn't cautious enough. When they tell you to wash it off it’s for a reason.

“Mine was worst case scenario. I was just very unlucky – first that it didn’t sting and secondly because it kept burning my arm for a good five days.

“It had been burning my arm all week, which is why it got blacker. It had burnt away at my skin and killed all the nerve endings so it was numb which is why I didn’t feel it.

“It wasn't an active stinging throughout the week, the chemical was just rotting away at my arm.

“I was a bit shocked. I know all cleaning fluids can be harmful but it was just a little bit that I thought I’d wiped off, but obviously didn’t.

“When I saw it all black I did think ‘uh-oh I’ve done something quite bad to my arm’.

“I’ve used Oven Brite for nine years, it’s really good when used properly. I’ve always used it and never had any problems.

“It’s a powerful cleaning fluid and it’s written all over the box and the bottle that it should not come into contact with skin and to wash it off if it does."

House-proud Becky donned plastic gloves to use the cleaning product after spilling some egg custard tart mixture in the back of her oven.

After scrubbing the inside of the cooker with the sponge provided, Becky leaned towards the back to scrub where her dessert had baked onto the oven and accidentally dipped her lower arm into the pool of cleaner.

As it didn’t sting, she quickly wiped the product off on her top and carried on scrubbing until it gleamed.

Becky said: “It just felt like I’d got my arm wet and it didn’t sting so I just wiped it on the side of my top I wear when cleaning and wiped all the egg custard off.

“When I went to bed at 10.30pm that night I noticed it was a bit red but I didn’t think anything of it, I thought it would settle down by the morning.

“It was only the following morning that it started to look like a burn that was about the size of a Creme Egg.”

Becky said she rinsed her blistered arm in the shower and placed a waterproof dressing on it before starting work.

She said: “It had started to sting slightly at this point but it was bearable. I didn’t want to rub it too much as it had blistered."

Four days later when a work colleague spotted the burn, which had turned black and more painful looking, she advised Becky to head to A&E to get it checked out.

Becky visited Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s A&E department on March 7 where she says doctors revealed the chemical was still on her arm.

She claims they had her sit under a tap for two hours in a desperate bid to rinse it off.

Doctors then referred her to the burns unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham the following day.

Specialists confirmed Becky had suffered full thickness burns and advised there were two courses of action – treating it with dressings or having a skin graft, she says.

Becky said: “It got steadily worse through the week. When I got to work on the Thursday and had taken the dressing off one of the girls said it was really bad and that I should go down to A&E.

“I’m really laid back so just thought it would be alright and would heal eventually.

“At A&E they did a PH test that showed the cleaning fluid was still present on my arm.

“At the burns unit they said they could have tried to treat it with dressings but it would have taken a long time to heal.

“Because of my job, because I’m in clinical at the hospital, I wanted to get back to work as soon as I could they said it could take months to heal and I wouldn’t be able to do any clinical work.

“They also warned because it was a full thickness burn the dressings might not even work anyway.”

The other option Becky said she had was to undergo surgery – get the dead tissue cut out and have a skin graft.

Becky said: “The burn was a little bit tender round the edges but in the middle I couldn’t feel it at all, even when they were poking and prodding at it.

“There was a better chance of it not getting infected and me having a quicker recovery if I had the surgery, which is why I decided to go for it.”

Becky underwent surgery on March 13 with the plastic surgeon using her hip as the skin donor site.

She said: “I wasn’t in any pain from the burn whatsoever, the skin graft site on my hip hurt more than my arm.

“The only way I can describe it is like when you get a popped blister it and there is that wet and raw layer underneath.

“I went into work on the Monday but only doing paperwork duties.

“It’s slightly discoloured but they more than amply warned me it’ll have an uneven texture compared to the rest of my arm and it will scar.

“The consultant who did the surgery said once it’s all healed fine it can be tattooed over but I’m not sure whether I’d get it done – I’m not really self conscious about scars."

Becky, who says she’ll continue to use Oven Brite, said she hoped to be discharged from the hospital soon, but wanted her experience to act as a cautionary tale to others.

Becky said: “I just want to make people aware of the dangers of not following the instructions properly.

“Products like this contain harsh chemicals and they can do damage if they come into contact with your skin and you don’t wash them off.

“I would advise people to wear large protective gloves and if it does come into contact with your skin to wash it off immediately, even if it doesn’t sting.”

A spokesman for manufacturer Homecare on behalf of Oven Brite said: “We are extremely sorry to hear that burns of this severity have been sustained whilst using this product.

“Oven Brite does contain a very dangerous corrosive liquid which should be treated with the utmost respect and all the advice on the packaging and bottle should be adhered to.

“We are duty bound by various regulations to ensure that this product carries the relevant warnings about the risks associated with the contents, both on the product and the packaging, but that said unfortunately accidents can occur, but are few and far between.

“In the event of skin contact, either directly or from contaminated clothing the area should be flushed immediately with cold water for as long as possible until the burning has subsided, and then seek medical advice.”

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