How should I bandage my burn?
October 8, 2008 2:48 PM   Subscribe

How should I care for my (now blister-less) burn? The sort-of gory details inside...

I burned my right index finger below the first knuckle on a toaster oven last Thursday. It is probably a second-degree burn. I got a good blister from it. It did pop (on its own, I swear I didn't touch it) and I was leaving it uncovered to sort of air out and dry up. I did put Bacitracin on it and kept it clean.

Stupidly and accidentally, I ripped the blister skin off. I kept a band-aid on that for several days (still with the Bacitracin) but worried it was staying too moist and wouldn't scab up. So yesterday, upon internet dabbling, I switched to gauze and tape. Now the gauze is sticking to the wound, even if I smear a lot of ointment on it beforehand. So anytime I change the gauze, it's going to rip open.

It's an open wound, less than a dime in diameter, and I think at least the first two layers of skin are bye-bye. I also think I'm continuing to exacerbate it by having to type/mouse/work. I'm going on vacation on Friday (nowhere exotic) so hopefully I can lay off the finger a little more then.

How should I bandage this thing?
posted by faunafrailty to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
P.S. I know YANAD.
posted by faunafrailty at 3:06 PM on October 8, 2008

Second Skin is really wonderful for injuries like this.

While it will keep your injury moist, it will not stick to the wound (it feels like a thin layer of extra-durable jello). My (entirely subjective) opinion is that wounds heal faster with this treatment.

Also exceedingly excellent for blisters and hot-spots on feet.
posted by arnicae at 3:06 PM on October 8, 2008

I'd bandaid during the day (with minimal bacitricin) and leave open at night.

This presumes you aren't a wild sleeper, though.
posted by nat at 3:20 PM on October 8, 2008

Tegaderm is made for this; it's thin and flexible but seals the wound. 3M makes it and consumers can get it from Nexcare.
posted by nicwolff at 3:26 PM on October 8, 2008

Seconding the Second Skin.

Also: just keep it clean, don't mess around with it too much, and let your body take care of it. Your body is built for dealing with this kind of stuff.

That said, if it turns strange colors or falls off: get a doctor to look at it..
posted by HFSH at 4:20 PM on October 8, 2008

Thanks everyone. I'm going to see if the local pharmacy has Second Skin or Tegaderm and try that. I just know that so far, it's been a week and it still looks funky so I need to do something better.
posted by faunafrailty at 4:25 PM on October 8, 2008

Here's the advice I got from a $400 emergency room visit for a much larger burn.

There's a kind of wet bandage you can get that does wonders for stopping the sticking you mentioned. Usually it comes in larger sizes.

Good luck
posted by emptyinside at 5:22 PM on October 8, 2008

It won't stick to the bandage if you put anti-bacterial gel or cream on it before bandaging. I used to believe that wounds needed to dry out and scab over in order to heal correctly, but after reading a ton of info to the contrary, and trying it out for myself, I now am a big advocate for letting the wound heal under a bandage without allowing it to dry. Change your bandage twice morning and night, and it should heal up quickly.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:55 PM on October 8, 2008

Ok, very contrary to everyone above, but I'm not sure you need anything at this point. It's been nearly a week. Cover it if your hand is going to be in anything dirty, but otherwise let it air dry.

I had a much larger second-degree burn on my arm a couple of months ago, and after the first few days the only covering it had was long sleeves. Gauze just made it feel gross. It's completely healed now.
posted by Violet Hour at 8:12 PM on October 8, 2008


"Many home remedies for burns are unproved, but honey seems to soothe small burns."

Some Doctor, likes honey.

...doesn't say he's a 'Doctor', but again - likes honey.

Was just thinking I can't for the life of me remember where I first heard it. But yep, honey is the shiz.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 10:19 PM on October 8, 2008

I ended up getting Nu-Skin last night (figured it was the same as Second Skin). I find the concept kind of creepy--it feels and smells like nail polish--but after less than 24 hours, my burn looks SO much better. It actually seems like it's finally healing, not getting worse.

I'll probably use this stuff for another day or two and then just leave it open with some antibacterial ointment. Thanks everyone!
posted by faunafrailty at 9:10 AM on October 9, 2008

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