American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 295–300 | Cite as

Effects of Airbag Deployment

Lesions, Epidemiology, and Management
  • Monica Corazza
  • Silvana Trincone
  • Annarosa Virgili
Therapy in Practice


Airbags are restraining safety devices, but their activation may sometimes induce injuries during road accidents. Rapid deceleration due to an impact causes the ignition of a sodium azide cartridge, which releases nitrogen gas to inflate the nylon rubber bag. Numerous high-temperature gases, sodium hydroxide, carbon dioxide, and various other metallic oxides are also released producing a corrosive alkaline aerosol.

Cutaneous and extracutaneous injuries due to airbag deployment may occur. Cutaneous injuries are frequent, and consist of irritant dermatitis, and chemical and thermal burns. Furthermore, numerous kinds of traumatic lesions (abrasions, friction burns, and lacerations) may be observed. Extracutaneous damage may involve the eyes, ears, cardiovascular system, nerves, joints, and bones.

The nature of airbag lesions, their frequency, and management are reported. Even though the majority of airbag lesions are minor and do not require hospitalization, correct diagnosis and the choice of the most suitable treatment are necessary.


Traumatic Lesion Motor Vehicle Crash Chemical Burn Ocular Lesion Irritant Contact Dermatitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica Corazza
    • 1
  • Silvana Trincone
    • 1
  • Annarosa Virgili
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento Di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale-Sezione di DermatologiaUniversita’ Degli Studi Di Ferrara, Via SavonarolaFerraraItalia

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