Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can I do about this burn?"
Hi, I just got burned from touching some hot metal, it was on my skin for 3-4 seconds and I could hear my skin sizzle and pop, immediately after the skin wasn't red at all it's just white where it touched it, and it burned for a few minute after but now it's been like 10 minutes and it doesnt hurt no matter how hard I press down on it. The area around the edges of the burn feels hard and scratchy, the edges stick up off my skin but the middle of the burn is indented in. It's about the size of a quarter. I can't go to the doctor but I want to reduce the scarring this will probably leave, what should I do?
This is a very good question. It is very important that you have this burn evaluated by a medical professional such as your primary care doctor or emergency room physician because it is impossible to know the extent of the burn and the long term outcome from the description that has been provided. It is also important that a medical professional evaluate the extent of the burn and the location because sometimes burns can become infected or can cause damage to nerves, tendons, or muscles underlying the skin and this needs to be evaluated and possibly treated in a timely manner. With regards to the burn as you describe it, the numbness you are describing is not uncommon and is related to sensory nerve trauma sustained by the burn. As you mention, scarring is something that can definitely happen after a burn and there are a variety of ointments and lotions that can soothe the pain after a burn and some suggest decrease scar formation. Again, before these are applied, it is important that you see a doctor to ensure that there isn't anything serious occurring at the site of the burn and that it is safe to apply lotions or other creams to the burn area.
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