A burn injury, such as contact with a heated stove burner, may take some time to heal and may leave a scar. Burns are classified by how much tissue is affected and how deep they are. First-degree burns are associated with skin reddening, little pain and mild swelling. Second-degree burns present with moderate pain and red skin blisters that open and ooze tissue fluid. Third-degree burns penetrate and destroy the deep layers of skin tissue, giving it a charred appearance, and are quite painless if nerve cells have been destroyed. You can easily treat a stove burn at home if it is a first-degree burn. However, for a second- or third-degree burn, seek immediate medical attention.
Cool the burned areas of the skin. Place the burned area immediately under running cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Cooling the affected areas will lessen the swelling by conducting heat away from the burned areas. Do not use ice or water that is too cold on the burn since it can cause frostbite, further damaging your skin.
Use antimicrobial soap to clean the burned area after running the skin under cold water. Avoid scrubbing the burned skin.
Soak the burned skin in milk or apply a cloth soaked with whole milk for 15 minutes. According to Stephen M. Purcell, D.O., chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the fats in milk can sooth the burn and promote healing. Make sure to rinse your skin and washcloth under cool water for a few minutes afterward, because the milk will smell.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infections. Wrap the burned skin loosely with sterile gauze, and leave the gauze on for 24 hours after soaking the burn in milk. Covering the burned skin will protect skin blisters and prevent exposure to air particles and dust.
- Mother Nature: Burns
- "Emergency Medicine Manual"; O. John Ma, et al; 2003
- "Medical Diagnosis and Treatment"; Stephen J. McPhee, et al; 2005