Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What do you do for a burn?

Nine days ago I was taking a hot cookie sheet out of the oven and it quickly tapped my forearm.  Usually with a burn I will immediately stop what I'm doing and ice it.  But this burn was so insignificant, I just ignored it and continued making dinner.

It became painful during dinner so I started icing it a little but then I was in a hurry so just put that aside.

Within an hour or so the pain was gone.  Didn't think too much about it.

Five days later, Saturday evening, Amy told me it did not look right.  I told her it didn't hurt at all.  She said it was welty looking and red.  

So I thought, okay, I'll just put some Neosporin on it.  I did and immediately it hurt.  But the pain would not go away.  The pain was there all night long. 

I went to church the next morning, but it was hard focusing on the speakers with the throbbing going on in my arm, and the somewhat lack of sleep the night before. 

So off to Kaiser I went. The Dr diagnosed it as a 2nd degree burn that was dried up before it healed (causing the pain).  My arm was medicated and wrapped, a prescription in my hand, and I was out of there within 30 minutes total....and it was a Sunday!  I love Kaiser. 

I have silver sulfadiazine on my little wound.  I googled it and found it is usually given only for severe burns.  I don't like taking any meds unless I really need them, and I'm not sure I do.  It does help with the pain, but not totally.  I wonder if it's too late in this game to try Aloe Vera, or honey.

I also think it's a little odd this Dr wants me to keep this burn moist and covered and air tight for 10 days.  My RN son Logan, says this is contrary to the advice he gives for burns.  He explained when he was in the Philippines on his mission, wounds took forever to heal there because it was so moist and humid.  He also told me that I could go to 6 different doctors and they would give nearly that many different opinions on burns.  

I don't understand why there are such varying opinions on treating burns.   Especially a little one like this.

Oh, and the doctor said the Neosporin did not cause my pain but just brought to my attention there was a problem.  So thank you Amy.  

So I'm just putting this out there to see if anyone has had a similar experience.  How do you treat burns?  Please tell me your burn story.

One thing I have learned so far is this:  It is worth the time to put ice immediately on a small burn.  It would probably keep a 1st degree burn from turning into a 2nd degree one.  

See the little girl cuddling up to her Grandpa?  That's our Katie.  She would sit by me when my arm was hurting and ask how I was doing.  When I got back from Kaiser, she would ask what the doctor said.  If anyone is hurting, or crying, or sad, Katie zeroes right into them.

Our grandchildren are all so special to us in their own way. 


Karen Mortensen said...

Oh Jill, my arm is hurting just looking at the pictures.

While I was at BYU I burned my forearm on a popcorn popper. I imdediatley dropped the popper and ran to the bathroom. I kept my arm in a sink of cold water for awhile. I don't think I did anything else. After a few days it was scaby etc and then went away. You can't even tell anything happened. That was over 25 years ago.
I am surprised they covered it up though. Good luck.

Jill said...

You did the right thing Karen with the cold water. It cools the skin down and keeps it from continually burning. I should have done that!

Sue said...

I always use the cold water, too. But they didn't know what to do with burns in the old days. My arm was burned badly when I was a child by an old vaporizer. The scalding water overturned on me while I was in bed, and my parents put butter on the burn because that is what was done then. Can you imagine? I'm sure that made it so much worse! As it turned out, I had third degree burns on that arm.

Hope yours gets well soon, Jill!


Anonymous said...

Neosporin is so yesterday. With everything we've encountered in recent years we have been told "just soap and water, keep it clean and let it be". What's old is new again.


Jill Shelley said...

I didn't realize Neosporin is on the out list. That phase sure did not last long.

The "let it be" part though, is what got me into trouble.

Susan Rozier said...

Perhaps an ice-pack wrapped in a thin towel could have helped with the pain--sort of numbed it. Interesting about the divergence of opinions. Susan

Ammy said...

We always had and aloe plant at our house when I was growing up and my Mom still has it there now. It sits on the back of the toilet. When we would get burned she would cut a piece and wrap it in a bandage against the burn. I can't remember if it helped or not. I also remember my Grandma putting and ONION on our burns...it HURT LIKE HECK! She said it would burn the hurt out and feel better in a few hours...it never worked.

Rebecca said...

Oh I am sorry about your arm! That looks painful. I use the Burts Bee cream, it is amazing. I once grabbed the handle of one of my cast iron skillits and burned my hand, this cream was amazing and took the sting right out. Hope it heals quick!

Rebecca said...

Oh and it's true, Neosporin is "out". I just went to my dermatologist and they said NEVESR use Neosporin. But then I think Logan is right. Ask 6 doctors and you will get 6 different answers!

Jill Shelley said...

Thank you for the burn stories. I'm really into those right now, so please keep them coming.

So why is Neosporin out? I know anti bacterial soaps are out because they get our bodies use to having too many germs be gone. But with an open wound, don't we want the germs to be gone? (I'm sure there's a reason, just trying to learn.)

I saw Burts Bee Cream at Whole Foods last night....I should have picked some out. I did order some "Wound Honey" and as soon as that arrives I will try using it. This prescription I am using helps with the pain, but I don't see a lot of healing going on.

Anonymous said...

Keep using the Silver cream! It has antibiotic properties so you don't end up with an infection.

When we get older, our skin gets thinner and the fat layer shrinks, so this could be why your burn was a 2nd degree instead of a 1st degree.

The best thing when you first burn yourself is to cool it, but don't use ice. Then cover the wound with a gauze, and take an OTC pain reliever. :)

-an RN


Heidi Garvin said...

Brett has a third degree burn on his arm right now! You poor things. He also got something from Kaiser to put on it, as well. Not sure what, though. Hope you feel better, soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
I knew a woman who had a burn on her arm just like yours - she would be 60 years old today had she lived.

Eileen said...

Oh, Jill, I'm so sorry, I hope you'll heal soon.
I've gotten little burns here and there, I usually just run them under cold water, or use my Mom's old remedy of a stick of butter (I'm sure it's just the fact that the butter is cold right from the refrigerator that helps).
The only other burns I've had were sunburn, and I use aloe for those.

So sweet of Katie to be so concerned about you. You have a lovely family, and I enjoyed reading your previous posts about all your celebrations with them! Kris did a great job with Katie's party!
And I loved reading about your 'full house', and Ray & I do the same thing when we are trying to sleep, he uses a sound machine to drown out any outside noises.

I loved the video of the twins picking the winners. Adorable! And congratulations to the winners!

Feel better, Jill.
All the best to you,
PS ~ I agree with your son, I've always heard that leaving a wound or a burn open to the air helps it to heal faster.

Jill said...

Dad--I knew the end of your sentence before I read it all!

Heidi--I want to hear about Brett's burn! What happened? How is he now? Since it's a 3rd degree does he have to scrub it off every day?