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How do you deal with burns when cooking?

Good question. Cooks have to deal with fire and very hot food, accidents may happen. It is good to know how to deal with burns because a proper first aid and initial care can limit the seriousness of burns and the damage caused.

In the case of burns, most of the popular remedies do more harm than good. Egg whites are one of these popular cures for burns — they are supposed to have collagen. We have not found any real medical evidence supporting these claims.

The most common burns to happen are first-degree burns – these are superficial. The skin feels tender, red but not broken. There is pain.

The first the thing to do is cool down the hurt area to stop the heat from burning through the layers of skin. Rinse and cool a first-degree burn under running water —at least 5 minutes. Rinsing will also remove any foreign material from the skin. Afterwards, apply a cold-water compress afterwards until the pain is under control — a clean towel or cloth soaked in water can be used for this.

Ice can cause more damage to the skin, avoid the temptation to apply it. Popular remedies for burns such as rubbing butter only increase the risk of infection and infection are a major risk in the case of burns because the damaged skin is not an effective barrier.

Once the skin is rinsed and cooled, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend a burn ointment. Cover the injury with a dry, sterile dressing, such as a gauze pad, to prevent any scratching and protect it from pressure. Change the dressing daily, until the burn is healed — at least until there is no pain.

If the damaged area is large, even if it is a first degree burn, call a doctor.

In second-degree burns deeper layer of skin are damaged. They are more painful but if the affected area is small or the damage does not go very deep, they can be treated as a first degree burn. Second degree burns typically produce blisters. Don’t break a blister, this makes an infection more likely. Very large blisters may need drainage, but a doctor should do this. If the damaged area is large, antibiotics or replacement of fluids may be required.

Over the counter painkillers may help to ease the pain. Remember aspirin is not recommended for children younger than 12.

When the burn extends to all layers of skin, even the tissue beneath the skin, it is considered a third-degree burn. It may look like leather and it can be white, brown, deep red or dark grey color. Sometimes they are not painful. They do not blister as all the skin layers are fused together. This kind of burn needs a doctor because the skin has lost the ability to heal itself.

Seek a doctor for large burns, if the injured person is a child or elderly, if the burn is from a chemical substance, if delicate areas are affected -hands, genitals, or face, especially if there are burns around mouth and nose- and if there is any sign of infection. We said already a doctor should see any third-degree burn.

Compiled from Information provided by HarvardMedicalSchool