Woman's hands catch fire after she uses sanitiser gel

A woman suffered serious burns to her hands after she tried to start a fire moments after cleaning her hands with sanitiser.

Karen Brawn, from Newent in Gloucestershire, says it was like fireball engulfing her hands, and says it could have been worse if she had touched her face.

Karen had cleaned her hands with the gel after returning from a shopping trip and rubbed it into her skin, Gloucestershire Live reports.

She then decided to get rid of some rubbish by burning the waste cardboard packaging.

Karen said: “As I lit the cardboard there was this big ball of flame.

“It burned my hands and singed my hair and gave me a real shock.

“My daughter saw it and said it was amazing it missed my face and didn’t set fire to my top.

“It didn’t last long. As soon as the alcohol burned off it, it went out.”

She said her hand turned into a fireball (Image: GloucestershireLive/ WS)

Karen quickly submerged her hands in cold water for 20 minutes and applied burn gel.

“But it didn’t touch it, the pain so in the end I went to A&E,” she said.

“As soon as I told the receptionist what had happened, her face said it all. I’ve since heard a few similar stories.”

Despite being painful the burns on her bandaged hands and wrists are superficial and will heal, but the mother of four has been signed off for a week because she cannot work.

She says she has since heard of other cases, including a smoker, who suffered minor burns because of hands coated in sanitiser.

“At 49 you could say I’m old enough to know better about going near fire with 70 per cent alcohol on my hands,” she said.

“But hand sanitiser has become so much a part of our everyday lives we don’t really think about it any more.

“I put it on automatically because I’d been to the shops. We are constantly telling little ones to use it, but we need to be careful.”

A spokesman for Carex parent company PZ Cussons said: “We are very sorry to learn of the customer’s distressing accident.

“Consumer safety is the key consideration in our product design; to be effective in killing bacteria and viruses such as Coronavirus, our hand gels are formulated with 70% alcohol (as ethanol) which is flammable, and consumers should follow the guidelines on our packaging which advise customers not to use near any naked flames or sources of ignition”

.