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Query about burns - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: General Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 675 Questions
User :   Hi - I'm a 40 yr old female, and I have a question re a burn that I sustained on my leg, about the size of a large coin, eg, bigger than a quarter. About 2 weeks ago, I (stupidly) dozed off, while I had my laptop sitting on top of my legs. It got very hot and when I awoke, I had developed a huge red blister, where the weight of the computer was pressing the most. It didn't seem all that bad, so I cleansed the area, sprayed at antiseptic spray on it and covered it with a bandage (and intermittently, removed it, so the srea could breathe). However, for the past several days, the border around the burn is bright red and the inside is white and feels somewhat 'squishy' when you press on it. It doesn't hurt, but it itches, which I heard is a sign of healing, but it looks really strange to me. Does it sound like the skin is healing, or does the very red border indicate an infection? And if so, what would I have to do. Thanks...
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   let me read your query
User :   Hi,
Doctor :   may i know your age please ?
User :   40
Doctor :   first of all DONT touch it
Doctor :   as you will make it infected
User :   ok
User :   keep it bandaged?
Doctor :   and if you have noticed a squishy consistency that means it has pus in it , usually burn would do follow that pattern.
Doctor :   since it was a laptop burn it would be just a 1 degree
Doctor :   so when it will heal it will NOT leave a scar
User :   Oh, good
User :   What about the bright red border??
User :   is that normal?
Doctor :   that's a sign of inflammation
Doctor :   are you using any ointment ?
User :   No...something OTC, or should I see my doctor?
Doctor :   The burn may be dressed with a topical antibiotic ointment like Bacitracin or Neosporin.
Doctor :   you should apply it 4 times a day
Doctor :   is there any pain ?
User :   No, it just itches
Doctor :   make sure you avoid wearing tight socks
Doctor :   so that the circulation is good to that area
User :   Ok. Should I remove the bandage for a few hours, or keep it covered at all times
Doctor :   dont worry the first degree burns do cause some swelling and redness but its nothing serious
Doctor :   remove it and apply the ointment
Doctor :   Skin inflammation from such burns is painful and causes redness and some swelling. The skin becomes tender to touch, but this is not a severe type of burn and can be treated at home
Doctor :   a visit the the doctor is not required
Doctor :   in the past 2 weeks you were just applying bandage ?
User :   Most of the time, yes,
Doctor :   ok the use of ointment is must
Doctor :   This will aid in healing and limit the chance of infection
Doctor :   you should see relief in 3 -4 days
User :   Ok. But if it WERE to become infected, would it be obvious, like I'd run a fever and it would be painful?
Doctor :   yes and you will see more puss
Doctor :   then you would need a antibiotic course
User :   Ok, thank you so much!!! I think that covers it
Doctor :   your most welcome
Doctor :   and remember such burns are common , and next time make sure after you wash it with cold water you aplly the ointment
Doctor :   apply **
User :   Ok, thanks again, and have a great holiday :)
Doctor :   thank you
Doctor :   you too
Doctor :   take care
Doctor :   Good bye
User :   Bye
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