Learning As I Chop

Burn Baby Burn

Posted in Tips by R @ Learning As I Chop on January 10, 2011

As I’ve mentioned before, I am quite the vocal chef. Lots of “ooh!” “ah!” “oops!” “oh no!” comes from the kitchen while I work. You might also  hear pots falls and/or a few curse words to boot. That’s why H now endearingly calls me the “clumsy cook”. So klutzy that sometimes innocent accidents lead to lovely little burns on my hands, wrists and fingers. I considered showing you some of  my recent red badges of courage (one most recently received tonight while making dinner) and older scars, but H and I decided that’d be quite gross. So instead I thought I’d give you some tips on what to do if you get one. Because let’s be frank – at some point or another, a chef will burn him/herself and when you do, a party it is not.

From my favorite online medical site – The Mayo Clinic:

For minor burns, including first-degree burns and second-degree burns limited to an area no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, take the following action:

  • Cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10 or 15 minutes or until the pain subsides. If this is impractical, immerse the burn in cool water or cool it with cold compresses. Cooling the burn reduces swelling by conducting heat away from the skin. Don’t put ice on the burn.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage. Don’t use fluffy cotton, or other material that may get lint in the wound. Wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps air off the burn, reduces pain and protects blistered skin.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Minor burns usually heal without further treatment. They may heal with pigment changes, meaning the healed area may be a different color from the surrounding skin. Watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing. If infection develops, seek medical help. Avoid re-injuring or tanning if the burns are less than a year old — doing so may cause more extensive pigmentation changes. Use sunscreen on the area for at least a year.


  • Don’t use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can cause a burn victim’s body to become too cold and cause further damage to the wound.
  • Don’t apply butter or ointments to the burn. This could cause infection.
  • Don’t break blisters. Broken blisters are more vulnerable to infection.

I normally like to end my posts with “Enjoy!” but that somehow feels wrong for this post. So instead I’ll end another way – be safe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: