ZocdocAnswersShould a friction burn be white?

Question

Should a friction burn be white?

I scraped my leg falling off of a moped a few days ago. It is a friction burn. I'm worried though because it is white with a brown ring around it. Is this normal? Is it infected? What should I do?

Answer

I would strongly recommend that you go see your doctor about this issue. Any major cut or injury needs to be checked out, both to make sure that it is not serious enough to require medical treatment, and also to make sure that it is healing well and not getting infection. Most superficial cuts or burns or scraps will be reddened and inflamed. This is because when the skin is injured, chemicals are released at the site of the injury that cause increased blood flow. If the injured area in your case is white and dull, rather than red and inflamed, in some ways this may mean it is a more serious injury, because you may have burned or damaged the skin to such a deep level that the blood is not flowing in. For this reason, it is very important to have the area examined by your doctor as soon as possible. If you cannot get in, you should go to an emergency room for care. Serious skin injuries need to be ruled out, because they are at very high risk of not healing properly, of becoming infected, or of causing significant scarring. Your doctor will be able to rule out this serious kind of injury and give you recommendations about what to do next.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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