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Old 03-15-2012, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,627
Say I wanted to treat a burn that has started to peel...

Let's just say there is a burn on a piece of skin about the size of a 3x5 card. Say from scalding water, such that the skin did not break or blister, but just turned a purple color. Alright, let's say after a few days that skin got bumped, and there is a spot about the size of a quarter from which a single layer of skin has peeled, which reveals a patch of moister, pinker-looking skin (in what was) underneath. Let's say putting a band-aid on it to forget about it until it gets better probably won't work, since taking the band-aid off would cause further peeling.

What would be a good way to treat such a wound if an individual wanted to otherwise go on with their day?

Last edited by Try2B Comprehensive; 03-15-2012 at 10:20 PM.
Old 03-15-2012, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,651
It'll peel anyway, sooner or later. But you could tape on a big gauze pad if you want.
Old 03-15-2012, 11:37 PM
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Location: Vegas
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Just don't take the band aid off.
Old 03-16-2012, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,342
I'm not a fan of band-aids. But you should cover it. If that's all you got be lucky.
Old 03-16-2012, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 191
I just had a similar (smaller but seemingly more severe) scalding. My mom told me to put some kind of ointment on it and cover it with Telfa (or similar non-stick) gauze. I can't remember the ointment she said I should get, just that they didn't have any at the store and I ended up using a tube of Neosporin I had.

Seemed to work pretty well, though take this is all purely anecdotal as IANA doctor and YMMV.

Last edited by mbetter; 03-16-2012 at 12:29 AM.
Old 03-16-2012, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 90
Kinda sounds like a staph infection. You know, theoretically.
Old 03-16-2012, 12:33 AM
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You should be able to find sterile gauze pads and bandages in the first aid section at any pharmacy or supermarket.

Place the pad on the wound and wrap the bandage around the limb to secure it. Make sure it's tight enough that there is no slack and it stays on (but not too tight).
Old 03-16-2012, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Originally Posted by AHarris View Post
Place the pad on the wound and wrap the bandage around the limb to secure it. Make sure it's tight enough that there is no slack and it stays on (but not too tight).
Or you can tape the gauze pad on. Just be sure that the pad is big enough that the tape is entirely outside the wound, on undamaged skin.
Old 03-16-2012, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Nantes, France
Posts: 118
You must be able to change dressings once a day or so, to check for infection etc. large non compressive sterile gauze is the best bet. It should heal quickly.
In burn wards, the only product now applied to burns is based on silver compounds, everything else has been abandoned or banned.
Sterile soap, with lukewarm water, and a clean bandage.
Anything fishy, change of color, odor, pain, should be immediatly shown to a doctor, burns are fantastic entry ports for infection.
Old 03-16-2012, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,627
All right. Gauze it is. I've been putting aloe on it, not knowing that was banned, so I guess I'll pay the piper for that down the road.

It IS healing pretty fast, other than being pretty yucky. Thanks for the input guys.
Old 03-16-2012, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by retterath View Post
Kinda sounds like a staph infection. You know, theoretically.
Confused, what part of that sounded like an infection? Or did you mean one waiting to happen?

I second neosporin and gauze. Use a big enough pad that you can tape it down outside the injured area.

Last edited by TruCelt; 03-16-2012 at 11:06 AM.
Old 03-16-2012, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
They have these awesome gel bandages now for burns - I've also used them for a really bad scrape and can't recommend them highly enough. If you use one, put gauze over it, though, because you don't want the edges to dry out.
Old 03-16-2012, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,616
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
All right. Gauze it is. I've been putting aloe on it, not knowing that was banned, so I guess I'll pay the piper for that down the road.

It IS healing pretty fast, other than being pretty yucky. Thanks for the input guys.
Aloe hasn't been "banned", it just isn't as effective for burns as popularly thought:

The Claim: Aloe Vera Gel Can Heal Burns

In 2007, for example, a study in the journal Burns analyzed data from four controlled clinical trials involving a total of 371 patients, some were treated with topical aloe vera and others with placebo. Patients in the aloe vera group appeared to have slightly shorter healing times, but the evidence was not convincing, and the authors recommended further research.

In another study, scientists applied aloe vera to second-degree burns and compared it with other treatments. They found that it “hindered the healing process” when compared with a common antibacterial cream. Then in 2008, still another study looked at aloe vera applied to burns for six weeks and found that it decreased “subdermal temperature within the skin,” but did not reduce bacterial counts or speed the regeneration of skin.
Now, whether it makes burns stop hurting faster (which I have always heard it as) is another matter.

That said, when I get burned (usually from a soldering iron, which can literally burn the skin, not just heat damage, but in a small area), I just cool it down as fast as I can and leave it alone if the skin is unbroken; usually by the time the scab comes off it has healed enough (no raw-looking skin underneath). Obviously, larger burns pose more of a problem with respect to skin prematurely peeling off (luckily I haven't ever had a burn over more than half a square inch or so, even a sunburn). I have also popped blisters before, which you aren't supposed to do (but left the skin intact otherwise). And if it itches, don't scratch it (I did this once without thinking with a burn I got from a big drop of solder on my leg, about 2-3 weeks after I got burned, and it started bleeding when the scab came off; surprisingly, I don't even have a scar there now from what was likely a third degree burn, taking maybe a couple months to heal in total for something less than half an inch across, and much longer before it resembled normal skin).
Old 03-16-2012, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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what is sterile soap and where would you get it?
Old 03-16-2012, 07:27 PM
Graphite is a great
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Since this is a medical question about a real life situation, let's move from GQ to IMHO.

samclem, MOderator
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