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  #1  
Old 12-16-2000, 10:09 AM
astro astro is offline
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Last night in one of my more memorable DOH! moments I tried to keep a very hot pop tart from falling between the toaster oven grill bars as I removed it. It was a frosted pop tart and it took about a milli-second to realize I had placed my thumb squarely into a patch of molten glaze.

God it hurt!! I soaked my thumb in ice water for about an hour and went to bed. I now have this huge blister about the size of a quarter on my thumb. I punctured it with a sterile safety pin to let some of the fluid out and I now have this big weeping blister.

Should I cut the (assumedly dead) skin away from where it is covering the blister and expose the raw skin to the air to let it heal or will this make the problem worse?
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2000, 10:30 AM
handy handy is offline
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First of all, you should NOT have opened that blister. That is the way the body protects the area until it's strong enough by itself.

Try webmd.com they have a lot of info on what you can do now.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2000, 10:41 AM
peace peace is offline
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It is probably best to do nothing. The dead skin covering it now is arguably the best protection you can get. If you cut the flap away, the skin enderneath will eventually dry and the healing will occur under scub, which, in my opinion, is remote best. You may cut the flap away and apply one of the remedies from a drug store, but nothing is better, than your own skin, even dead. You can apply a drug store remedy to untreated. Some of them are not bad, will keep infection away (which is not an important consideration, givensmallness of the area).
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2000, 10:46 AM
midnite midnite is offline
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Ouch!
(I am not a doctor so take what I say with a grain of salt) I don't know about cutting away the blistered skin, but I was taught to loosely cover the area with sterile gauze. It needs air to heal but you also need to be careful of infection. You also may apply some of the medicated creams before covering with the gauze. In fact, depending on how bad it is...you may have to use a medicated cream to prevent further infection and let it heal. I suffered a severe burn on a large area of my body many years ago, and the risk of infection is the major problem. I can't think of a good over the counter cream just now..but a good pharmacist would know. I used something with zinc and nitrate something in it..lol..never did catch the name of it. But do at least be sure to cover it with the gauze. Remember..sterile and cover loosely. I can't say for sure about cutting the skin away, but I sure wouldn't do it. This would tend to cause further risk for infection. The dead skin should just fall away as it heals. Good Luck!
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2000, 01:36 PM
Pink Pink is offline
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Never rush to remove skin.
It's impossible to wait until it sloughs off, I know, but the longer it stays on the less chance of enlarging the wound by involving the unhurt edges.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2000, 02:11 PM
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peace is correct, the dead skin of the blister makes a good dressing. Protecting the blister with clean gauze or something similar until the skin of the blister dries up and falls off should give the skin underneath time to restore itself to near normal.

Infection is always a threat although it is less likely in an accident such as yours since the molten glaze was probably sterile and since you were probably not preparing food with dirty hands.

I don't see the point in putting antibiotic salves, ointments, or creams on wounds such as this. Such preparations will just sit on top of the dead skin of the blister and won't do anything. Some such products (e.g., silver sulfadiazine) are very useful if there is an infection or serious threat of one but then only when you remove all the dead tissue and spread the cream right on the tissue that is infected or a risk.

Symptoms and signs of bacterial infection of a burn are increased pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, or pus. If you have any concern about infection you should seek medical attention because although the burned area is small ("about the size of a quarter") it is in a critical area ("on my thumb").
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2000, 07:47 PM
Arcain_Norcon Arcain_Norcon is offline
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Im going to have to go with my friend peace and agree "It is probaby best to do nothing". Forget about it. Judging by the size of the boo-boo and making the presumption that your not infected by the AIDS virus or some other immune system altering disease or drug, your body will heal itself. And as for infection? Please. On an injury this small infection is out of question unless you stop on the roadside and insert the wound into some week old roadkill. Or you do not bathe. Now, if you have third degree burns covering the majority of your body, theres a good chance if not treated could turn to something worse or become "infected". Best of luck to you.

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  #8  
Old 12-16-2000, 08:06 PM
peace peace is offline
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The OP did not mention blood, but I wonder: Does anyone (Arcain? your post clicked me) here heard about HIV infection via burns? I mean, "pure" burns, without concominant wounds? It should not happen on theoretical grounds, but burns do not know the theory...
----------------
Peace
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2000, 08:58 PM
Jetassisted Jetassisted is offline
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When I was a Boy Scout, we were taught to break the blister with a sterile pin or needle, let it drain, then cover it with a clean dressing and a bit of antibiotic cream.

As an adult, with not the best in the world of manipulative skills and an over blown curiosity concerning hot things like lead, steel, fires and so on, I accumulated a lot of blisters. Normally I just popped the darn things and slapped a dressing on them. Sometimes, I did not.

My suggestion is now that it is popped, slap on some anti-infection cream and a Band-Aid. Keep it clean. Change the dressing daily and within a couple of days, when the loose skin looks dead, carefully peel it off or snip it off with clean scissors. Afterwards, just apply a dry dressing to protect your injury from being too sensitive for a day or so, then just let it heal.

In the future, grow some Aloe plants around the house, then when you slather a member with searing jelly, after dancing around and screaming, rinse it off, take an Aloe leaf, break it and cover the burn with the goo. Let it set for a few moments or bandage it over the goo. Aloe usually will stop a blister from forming or reduce the size of one that will.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2000, 09:08 PM
Arcain_Norcon Arcain_Norcon is offline
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Nor do I peace. I dont see it happening though except in the most extreme cases. I wouldnt set aside the idea that the blood vessels, where Ive been lead to believe the Virus does travel, would have cauterized with the heat. Kind of far-fetched I know but it has been brought up. Lets say they dont.

Now, if the vessels are exposed-it would have to be a pretty severe burn for them to be I would think-you are probably going to require medical assistance. Most hospitals I know are clean, and if you find a way to aquire the diaease between where you are and the nearest medical facility, you were doomed to begin with.

Keep thinking peace.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2000, 01:11 AM
Aestivalis Aestivalis is offline
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Jetassisted, the Boy Scout teachings on how to pop a blister were really for blisters on your feet, not for burns. And the reason you do it to your feet is so you can keep hiking with less pain. But otherwise you're right.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2000, 01:25 AM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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I have nothing to add, but when I read the thread title I thought it said: "Big bum blister"
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2000, 05:17 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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The _official_ Boy Scout teachings

Boy Scount Handbook, tenth edition, page 421:
Quote:
Second-degree burn. If blisters form, the burn is more serious. Do not break the blisters-- this will compound the injury by causing an open wound. If the blisters are not open, place the injury in cool water until the pain lessens, then apply a moist dressing, and bandage loosely. Do not apply creams, ointments, or sprays.
(all emphasis original) On the next page, on friction blisters, it says to drain the fluid only if you think that you can't stop the blister from breaking on its own. If you do drain it, you're to do so with a sterilized (match flame) needle, near the edge, and then use a donut bandage to keep pressure off of it. (A donut bandage is several layers of moleskin or other thick, soft cloth with a hole cut in the center, and placed around a blister.)
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2000, 08:14 PM
SanibelMan SanibelMan is online now
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I saw this topic and the first thing that came to my mind was "Please, for the love of God, do NOT open that blister." But you did.
A blister is simply the seperation of the layers of the skin known as the dermis and the epidermis. Interstitial fluid fills the space between them, and then it slowly drains away and the two layers reattach themselves. In the meantime, the nerve endings which were protected by the epidermis are now relatively exposed, and that's where the pain comes from, but eventually it goes away. Unless, of course, you pop it open, in which case you open yourself up for the risk of infection. So, in the future, don't do that.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2000, 09:13 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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Arcain Norcon You are wrong. It is unconscionable to give out incorrect medical advice.


Astro: Yeah is correct in pointing out that although it is a smallish burn it is by definition a "high-risk burn" because it is a second-degree burn on the hand. Whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE THE SKIN OFF. Keep it clean and dressed. You can use antibiotic ointment if you want. If it begins to show any signs of infection or weirdness, get thee to a doctor. Good luck.
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  #16  
Old 12-18-2000, 06:24 PM
Arcain_Norcon Arcain_Norcon is offline
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HAHAHAHA!
do you think your hands going to rot off if not treated with "anti-biotic"? go to the drug store spend eight dollars on a tube of the stuff, I'll just stick to my natural defenses and hope for the best. its just a pop tart burn for Gods sake. its not like they got into some radiation you dope.
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2000, 06:39 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Arcain_Norcon, disagreeing with someone's answer is no reason to call that person a "dope." Please do not do that again.
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  #18  
Old 12-18-2000, 08:05 PM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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Mod, can I call the OP poster a wuss?

it's a wittle blister, for lords sake. Pop it, don't pop
it, just ignore the damn thing. Ice water for an hour!? Puhleeze.

I work construction, maybe we're tougher than the office worker types.
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2000, 08:25 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Mod, can I call the OP poster a wuss?
No, you may not. A second-degree burn the size of a quarter is a significant injury, especially if it has been opened. Any person receiving such an injury has legitimate cause for concern, regardless of that person's occupation. Even were it not a legitimate cause for concern, calling a person a wuss because of it adds nothing to the discussion at hand. If you really want to, you can start a Pit thread lambasting the OP's reaction to a significant injury, but I would recommend that you do not, as you're likely to get flamed rather thoroughly yourself if you do open such a thread.
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  #20  
Old 12-18-2000, 11:31 PM
LazarusLong42 LazarusLong42 is offline
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I inflicted an effectively similar injury on myself this past May while making ice cubes in a very new freezer--one with zero frost inside it (even so-called "frostless" freezers tend to have a bit of frost). The ice tray splashed on my fingers, which then touched the bottom of the freezer, where they stayed for about forty seconds until my GF could pour hot water onto them. I ended up with severe freeze-burn blisters on the lateral right fourth and fifth digits and lateral left fifth digit, and smaller blisters on lateral right third and lateral left fourth digit.

The urgent care center to which I went put antibiotic ointment on each of the blisters, then wrapped them in loose dressings, and gave me a bunch of special finger-shaped dressings so that I could change the bandages each day after I showered, until the blisters healed (about two and a half weeks on the severe ones).

The antibiotic ointment does serve a purpose. It is protective both physically (hard for bacteria to get through a mound of pertolatum) and chemically (even if they could get through, by the time they do the bacitracin has killed them). You really don't want to get that skin infected--especially if the blister's been popped.

A quarter-sized second-degree burn on a rather critical digit should not be treated as trivial, and it saddens me that moderators have had to tell people off for doing so here.

Astro, I sincerely hope that your thumb feels better soon.
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