I Need Advice on How to Treat a Burn

Updated on October 31, 2011
V.D. asks from Smithfield, UT
19 answers

My 2 year old touched the glass on the gas fireplace with the palm of one hand. It was off but by only a few minutes. She now has blisters. I've sprayed it with Solarcaine but the blisters are getting very swollen. My mother-in-law took a look at it for me and says its just 2nd degree burns (she's a nurse). Should I be doing anything else besides give her pain medicine? I'm worried she's going to pop them. I feel terrible. i'm so careful with her around the fireplace. We were on our way out the door when she did it.

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answers from Atlanta on

You can take her to her doc or a walk in place and get a prescription for silvidine cream. It's what many chefs use. It works wonders for pain and healing! I think it's what my mom hot me when I plastered my palm to a hot iron as a child and had a handful of blisters.

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answers from Kansas City on

I love Aloe Vera. I have an aloe plant in my kitchen.

One of my friends swears by moist burn pads, one really helped her son when he did pretty much the same thing your daughter did. I googled it to show you what they are like and this is what I found.


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answers from Dallas on

A friend and I were at a science museum and her 18 month old got severe blisters on his feet. He walked barefoot across the hot ground in a water play area before we could stop him (we live in Texas, it was 107 that day). We put his feet in cold water and called the pediatrician. He told us cold water was about the only treatment he recommended doing yourself. We had to bring the baby in, the blisters covered the entire bottom of his foot. His feet were wrapped and his mother was given a prescription cream....something to numb and soothe and keep his feet clean. The doc said the biggest issue with burns is infection, so he had to be brought back in for a recheck three days later.

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answers from St. Joseph on

I learned this one in junior high home ec. It is probably way to late to do this one for the burn your daughter has now, but for the future in case it happens again or if you get a burn in the kitchen.

I was in home ec class and was taking something out of the oven and I burned my arm on the oven. The teacher was right there when it happened and she opened up the fridge, pulled out a thing of YELLOW MUSTARD and put a big glob on my burn. I must have had a weird look on my face because she laughed and told me that the mustard would "pull the pain out". It worked!!! I stopped hurting after a few seconds. She also said that it would stop it from blistering. and she was right. I have used this one many many times over the years, i'm fairly clumsy in the kitchen. I'm sure it would work on any kind of burn that was similar. But of course, if it is a severe burn I wouldnt use the mustard.

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answers from Boston on

my son was 15 months a few months ago touched the glass on the front of our stove, its an old stove and burnt the palms and fingertips on his hands the skin completely peeled off one hand but the other hand had blisters i had to take him to a burn center in boston every couple days for a few weeks till the burns were healed they didnt pop the blisters right away but after a few days they cut the blisters off they kept bacitracin on them and wrapped the hand open with medical gauze honestly if i were you i would take her to the doc right away dont let your mother in law tell you not to burns can get infected really easily and hurt bad they gave my son two shot of morphine and he was on tylenol with codine for a few days and his hand was on the stove for not even 10 seconds also when the skin heals if not wrapped properly the skin can form together wrong if its not wrapped properly i hope your daughter feels better

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answers from Denver on

Tea works wonders. Steep a cup of tea,(Liptons is perfect) cool the tea bag to room temperature and place the tea bag on the burn. You can drink the tea. It's the tannic acid in the tea that relieves the pain. I've used this for years on sunburns and it helps so much. Coconut oil is also very soothing to a burn. Burns are so painful. I hope that your little one is better soon. You also might want to make sure you use ibuprofin as it lasts longer than Tylenol.

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answers from Washington DC on

I use the old school "aloe vera" remedy, for myself, but I'm not sure about whether it would be ok for a 2 year old (I'd be afraid she would accidentally ingest it). Since your mother in law is a nurse ask her about remedies. Don't feel so bad. Accidents happen with toddlers, no matter how careful we are. I have two toddler boys and they are ALWAYS getting bumps, scrapes, & cuts. Kids bounce back very quickly. In a few days she will be fine. She probably will need a little extra mommy loving for a little while though :)

I almost forgot about this remedy. It's going to sound weird, but I've also used milk to cut down on irritation caused by burns. That should be fine for your 2 year old.

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answers from Phoenix on

I would've already taken her to the doctor, honestly. If they can prescribe something to get her through the pain, make sure it doesn't get infected, & heal it up quicker, then it's worth it.

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answers from Orlando on

I bake with my son all the time so he gets burned every now and then and what I do is use aloe Vera and put it on some gauze and wrap it. And accidents happen :) hope your little one feels better soon

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answers from Minneapolis on

if they are not open blisters then please do not pop them or open them, that promotes infection. Best thing you can do is just run it under COOL water not ice cold. That will aggravate the sensitive skin. Cool compresses and gentle water running on it will help. Its too late that you put Solarcaine on it but its best not to put any thing on these burns. NO ointment, no sprays or bandaids. Just a sterile gauze to cover and keep clean. Pain Meds as recommended and lots of TLC and what ever she wants :)

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answers from Lakeland on

Poor baby. I had burns like this once and on my hand and between my fingers. I used cool wet washcloths with water not ice. I did drain the blisters since I couldn't close my fingers and it seemed to relieve it a bit. I don't think there is too much more you can do. Keep the hand wrapped loosely you don't want her touching them and if the puss does leak out it will help keep it clean. Aloe is really good and/or vitamin D capsules if you open them and put the vit D oil right on it.

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answers from Kansas City on

The only other advice besides pain medication that I have is to wrap her hand with a cool, wet washcloth. I know when I burn myself on the oven rack, it burns like crazy even up to hours after I've done it and the blister forms. If she will let you, soak her hand in some cold (not ice) water in a bowl until there is no more pain when she takes her hands out of the water.

Poor baby!!

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answers from Chicago on

If it was just red you can do a lot of home remedies. However, since the burns are blistering you should take her to see a doctor immediately. You don't want her to scar.

I got a bad burn when the curling iron slipped out of my hand and burned my cheek. I went to see a homeopathic doctor because I didn't want a scar. She gave me a skin cream and I didn't scar at all. In fact, the burn turned brown with hard skin, and then in a week the brown skin just came off and there was no scarring.

So seek a doctor or homeopathic doctor's advice. 2nd degree burns can get infected!



answers from Fort Collins on

My mother in law sent me an e-mail for burns that says to put egg whites on them. I was skeptical until I burned my hand one day on a hot pan as it came out of the oven. I did this and it really worked. I am pasting part of the e-mail here hope this works.

Keep in mind this treatment of burns which is included in teaching beginner fireman this method. First aid consists to spraying cold water on the affected area until the heat is reduced and stops burning the layers of skin. Then, spread egg whites on the affected are.
One woman burned a large part of her hand with boiling water. In spite of the pain, she ran cold faucet water on her hand, separated 2 egg white from the yolks, beat them slightly and dipped her hand in the solution. The whites then dried and formed a protective layer.
She later learned that the egg white is a natural collagen and continued during at least one hour to apply layer upon layer of beaten egg white. By afternoon she no longer felt any pain and the next day there was hardly a trace of the burn. 10 days later, no trace was left at all and her skin had regained its normal color. The burned area was totally regenerated thanks to the collagen in the egg whites, a placenta full of vitamins.


answers from Jacksonville on

If you can find the burn pads that Sara B mentioned, I'd get some. A couple of years ago I did something really dumb and burned my finger tips really badly. I had made a breakfast casserole in a handled skillet (in the oven) and taken it out and set it on the counter. Then I turned around and did something else, then turned back and picked up the pan, one hand on the long handle, one hand on the little short handled side. No potholders. (you see, I RARELY use this pan in the oven. Usually it is stove top only, so the handles wouldn't typically be hot. And I had already taken it out of the oven and set the potholder down, and then wasn't thinking).

Anyway... I let go with one hand really quickly, but it is a heavy bottomed metal skillet, full of eggs so it was even heavier, and I have tile floors. If I had let it drop it would have cracked my floor. So I more or less tossed it onto the countertop... but I still held onto it longer than I should have with that one hand. My finger tips were burnt pretty badly. I didn't realize at the time how much, because all burns hurt. But usually, after 10 minutes the burn doesn't hurt so much if you've run it under cool water and applied aloe or whatever.

Well, (we had guests and I had sent them on ahead to the reunion without me) 30 minutes later trying to get a shower, it still was terribly painful and could NOT use my hand/finger tips. If I took it out of the water it burned. Even 30 minutes later.

I ended up filling a plastic cup with ice water, wrapping it with a damp paper towel, and holding the cup with that hand (to keep the finger tips moist and cool via the paper towel) while I drove myself to the nearest CVS. They had those burn gel pads and I bought them. I had to wait until I got to the reunion for my SIL to apply them for me, though, because I couldn't do it myself with my burned fingers. As soon as she placed one on my fingertip, it was INSTANTLY 90% pain relief. I couldn't wait for her to finish the other fingers! They ALL had the same relief. It was wonderful. (And I didn't end up with any blisters either. They were completely healed in about a week. The outside layer of skin peeled on a couple of the finger tips, but that was all. And no scars.
I have never found those pads in a store or pharmacy again since. And I have looked, because I want to always keep some on hand at home now. But I can't find them.

They WORK.
But, you really should take your daughter to be seen by the doctor. I have read that anytime a child is burned worse than 1st degree on areas like hands/feet/ joints that they should be seen, because of the possibility of scarring interfering with growth.

ETA: I read the same email as Karen about the egg whites and I started to mention it, but I hadn't tried it out, so @Karen, thanks for the first hand info!! I'll try that next time!



answers from San Diego on

Soak it in ice water to help stop the burn from getting deeper. Ibuprofen for pain. But if the blisters get very big, as my childs did, you may need to have them examined and cut off by a burn dr.-- as what happened to my kid. She was given tylenol with codine for the pain afterwards. not pleasant. Our pediatrician sent us to the UCSD burn center and they did an excellent job. I would call your pedi to be sure. Do things wrong and your kid could have perm. scars



answers from Los Angeles on

I had a burn that my doctor gave me a small jar with a cream something for that was perscription.

When you get a burn like that, the first part of first aid is to get the burned area cool again to stop the burn from progressing. Cold water or ice water if you have it, but immediately. Don't add ice to water and wait for it to cool.

I have a couple of aloe plants that in cut a leaf off of and put the pulp directly on the burn. That helps me a lot and I think it heals quicker. I know it lessens the pain very quickly.

Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Great Falls on

Do not put any type of balm on the blisters and do not pop the blisters. My son did the exact same thing - it was one huge blister across his entire palm and then little ones on his fingertips. We gave him Tylenol for initial pain but they wrapped it in bandages as he was still crawling and he still made great time with one bum arm. We went in every other day so they could examine it for infection and cut off any skin that had died and re-dress it which I also did twice a day at home (more if it got wet, etc). It popped on its own about a week later (lots of liquid puss!) when we were playing together. This was also second-degree burns and there is zero evidence today that it even happened. Not popping the blisters allows the healthy skin to start growing underneath so the blister is acting as a type of protection.



answers from Dallas on

Soak in cold water, pain medicine will help. My son touched a burner when it was off for a while but not yet cool. The best thing to do for a burn is to get it under cold water as fast as you can and as long as you can. The faster you can cool the skin, the less it will hurt and the less damange will happen. If they pop, you need to keep them clean. If she'll leave bandaids alone, once they stop hurting, that'd probably be a good idea.

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