Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Skin Care and Diseases

Burns

07/18/2006

Question:

I got a burn from steam and the result was a giant blister filled with fluid. I have covered it with a sterile bandage. What else can I do? What will happen to the blister? Can I use any creams? How long will it take to heal?

Thank you.

Answer:

It is apparent that you have a second degree burn at least.  If the lesion is painful, it is probably second degree, but if it is without pain it may be much deeper.  Your first aid is just that.  I would be concerned about a steam burn in that it may be quite deep and that underlying tissue is damaged.  I would urge you to see a surgeon that specializes in burns to evaluate the depth and damage.

I usually recommend that until we understand how extensive your injury is, that you leave the blister intact if it is not purulent.  If it is, then it should be drained under very clean/sterile conditions.

You asked about time to heal.  If it is a simple second degree burn the turnover time of the epithelium is roughly 28 days, giving you about a month for complete healing of the epithelium.  If the lesion is deeper, then the healing time may be much longer.

For more information:

Go to the Skin Care and Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati