Ouch! Burns. How do I tell how serious?

Other than pain of course. I was making chicken parmesan and was finishing it off in the oven. Just as I was about to plate I picked up the metal pan it was in to move it closer to the plates. I heard a hissing sound. Thats when I remembered the pot had been in the oven. I put my hand in running water for 10 minutes and it’s now immersed in cold water in a pot. If i take the hand out for more than 2 minutes the pain becomes unbearable. How can I tell if I have 2nd degree burns?

Generally blistering is pretty clear sign of 2nd degree burns.

crap It’s starting to blister. It’s not going to be pleasant night.

A second degree burn is characterized by blisters. Even if blisters form, keep them clean, don’t pop them, and you’ll be fine. This isn’t emergency room type stuff. If this were really serious, you’d be seeing charred flesh and such and wouldn’t be posting on an internet message board.

You should probably defer to a professional provider of medical advice of course, right now you’re dealing with a guy with a guy who got a merit badge in first aid a few decades ago.

Anecdotal only, do not take this as medical advice, as IANAD.

I burned the back of my hand once badly enough for it to blister. I did not go to a doctor. It did take a long time to heal, though, but it’s fine now.

I would say keep it immersed in cold water, use cold compresses, and get to a hospital if you’re in a lot of pain. At the very least they can set your mind at ease.

Although I am an MD, this is going to be just general wound care advice for burns. The biggest concern is infection. You should not pop any blisters. The wounds should be dressed in either silvadene cream or antibiotic cream (Neosporin, polysporin, etc) with gauze (all available over the counter). Dressings should be changed once or twice daily. Go to your doctor for wound checks.

Is Silvadene available OTC in some states? Where I work, it’s Rx only.

I used to get that stuff by the tub. I almost cried when I had to throw it away. Can’t trust meds like that after the expiration date. Well, I waited a year anyway because it works so good.

Type verrrryyyy slowly.

Well spend the better part of the night tossing and turning, periodically dipping my hand in cold water. I did fall asleep at around 2 though and it feels a LOT better now. I can type with both hands! Will definitely try and get some antibiotic cream and bandages. Thanks guys.

ack - i burned my finger the other day on the oven rack… but, I put Vit E oil on the wound and then a bandaide. It formed a nice blister - but there is no pain.

Ummm - was this a no-no?

Again, I’m giving out general wound care instructions and no specific advice. The biggest concern is secondary infection. Antibiotic ointments are preferred.

I always heard the cure-all for any ailment is to put it in cider, it’ll make anything better.

ok, if noone gets that joke I will crawl back into my closet

I am not a doctor, I am just a broke-down ex-Paramedic; firstly second all of USCDiver’s advice regarding wound care. A general guide for burns is:
[ul]
[li]1st Degree - light scalding. Skin turns red, but no blisters form[/li][li]2nd Degree - blisters form[/li][li]3rd Degree - skin is charred / blackened.[/li][/ul]

3rd degree burns I would definitely recommend going to the ER: also for 2nd degree burns if over a large area.

Otherwise, just cold water and keep it clean; if the blisters burst then you want to make sure they don’t get infected by treating with antiseptic ointment and LOOSE gauze bandages - the wound might swell. Avoid anything with lint or paper on it as this will stick to the wound. Change the bandages regularly - daily at least, or if the bandage becomes soaked through with fluids then change it.

Ouch! Glad it feels better today! I got a sunburn once bad enough to go to 2nd degree burn stage, and it was nightmarish!

IANAD, but a friend of mine put me in a bathtub with about a half-dozen tea bags. Apparently, at least according to him, the tannins in the tea “draw out” the burn. It did seem to help, though maybe it just helped because it was a cool bath.

For 1st degree burns, though, the very best thing I’ve found is tea tree oil. I don’t have any idea why it works, but it makes the pain stop almost immediately (though it makes you smell funny) and the pain does not come back! Amazing stuff.