Our fingers are often the first parts of our body to come in contact with something hot, like a flame, hot burner, or scalding steam. Other burns include sunburn, electrical burns and chemical burns. According to DermNet NZ, a first-degree burn involves only the superficial layer of skin, turning it red and sore. Second-degree burns go deeper, affecting the middle layers of skin, causing blisters to form and turning the skin red, wet and shiny. Third degree burns go down to bone and are a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.
Treatment of Blistering Burns on the Finger
Remove the finger from the heat source as quickly as possible. This is usually accomplished by the natural reflex of pulling away from anything hot. If a hot liquid or chemical is causing the burn, the burning agent should be removed as quickly as possible.
Rinse or bathe the finger for at least 5 minutes in cool running water or soak in a cool water bath only if the skin is not broken. Do not use cold water, ice water or warm water as these can make the burn worse.
Allow the finger to air dry. Wrap the finger in a clean towel dampened with cool water. This conducts heat away from the burn, reducing pain and swelling.
Determine the area of skin involved in the burn. According to MayoClinic.com, second-degree burns having a 3-inch diameter or less can be treated at home. Any burn that is larger, and all third degree burns, require immediate medical attention and must be treated by a doctor.
Wear a sterile glove and gently apply silver sulfadiazine cream or aloe gel to protect the burn and blister. According to Drugs.com, silver sulfadiazine can prevent infection and promote healing. Burns that blister are more apt to become infected. Do not break the blister open, as this increases the chance of infection.
Cover the burn and blister loosely with sterile gauze. This protects it from the air, reducing pain. Cover the gauze with sterile gauze wrap and secure the bandage with medical tape. The tape should not touch the blister or burned area. Do not use cotton or fluffy dressings that cause lint to get stuck on the burn.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce swelling or acetaminophen to reduce pain. Take the medication with food to reduce the chance of stomach upset. Do not take any medication that you are allergic to. Take the medication as the package label directs and discuss any side effects with your doctor.
Keep the bandage clean and dry, changing it daily.
Watch for any sign of infection. Report increased pain, redness, oozing or fever to your doctor immediately. An infected burn must be evaluated and treated by a doctor to prevent further problems.