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2nd degree burns on face, chest and arm.....from butter

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  • 2nd degree burns on face, chest and arm.....from butter

    First: I am okay. Now anyway.

    Last night, I decided to make my favorite salmon - garlic, thyme, creole seasoning on salmon....lots of butter, pan-fry the salmon. Well, I guess i was a little careless with my method of placing the salmon in the hot buttery pan. While I set one side of it in, I kind of let the edge towards me (bad idea) drop too hard....molten butter splashed up the sloped side of the 10" all-clad fry pan - on a trajectory straight for my face.

    The first (and hottest) splashes hit my forhead, then brow bones, eyelids, nose, lip, chin, neck/chest and left arm. I could feel it sizzle :/

    Last time I was badly burned (from a grande americano - cream/milk to cool it) it was really scary. I was shocky, dizzy, hyperventilating, felt like I was going to faint..... so I was scared of that and was home alone with one of the kids. However, I was able to cope suprisingly well. Rinsed everything with cool water and just kept using all of the pain coping techniques learned 12 years ago when pregnant with the first. It's funny how those really are helpful in so many situations when it's necessary to stay calm and in control.

    After I rinsed it for as long as my cold hands could stand it, I slathered it with raw honey (better burn tx than silver sulfadiazine) and would hold a cool cloth over the areas in rotation. Took 400 mg motrin. 30 mg zinc. A bunch of proteolytic enzymes. 50,000 IU vitamin A . Some antioxidants (grapeseed, time release C).

    Imagine if Italy and Greece were one land mass stretching across the mediterranean all the way to Cairo. (see this map) That's what the burn looks like diagonally across my forehead. And all blistery too. Then there are splatters on both eyelids, my right brow bone, the space between my right eyebrow and hairline, my nose, top right lip, a couple of tiny spots on my cheek, one on my neck (nickel sized), two cigarette sized burns on my chest, two dime sized adjoining burns on my left forearm. And tons of splatter on my shirt (which of course is a loss - but that's okay!!)

    Because the facial burns were much more painful, I gave them much much more attention (cool compresses and frequent raw honey applications) - so they actually look the most improved. The arm and chest burns weren't quite as painful (though they were still painful!) and didn't get as much cool water time and look quite bad today.

    Stupidly, last night, I peeled off the huge blister (I am such a 'picker') on the top left part of my forhead - it's about the size of a silver that was nice and gross looking this am. In spite of frequent applications of 50/50 raw honey and aquaphor, it's still formed a new blister where I peeled off last night's - but I guess that's better than a scab. Looking at it now, I can see the honey doing what it does - keeping it moist while simultaneously dissolving dead skin.

    Burns always hurt. The new thing this time was that the honey didn't take away the pain....usually it does for me - even over some pretty large areas. Not this time. Two hours after the incident (and 2h after 400 mg motrin) I was still in a lot of pain. Called my brother and asked for his thoughts. He didn't think it unreasonable to go into the ER. I was glad to hear that b/c I was going to head in. In an effort to avoid the ER wait and the $150 copay, I took another 400 mg motrin and that did eventually give me some relief.

    Slept with my face/neck/arm dotted with raw honey...messy, uncomfortable... and I still woke up in the middle of the night for more motrin. Even today while I was out and about, I could feel the burning sensation returning and I had to layer on some more honey/aquaphor mix.

    Now 25h post-incident I can see pretty clearly that this is the worst burn I've ever had by a significant margin but it's much better than it could have been. The honey helps. The good nutrition helps. I use retinoids every day and interestingly that's been shown to improve wound healing time. They're also often used by derms as a 'pre-treatment' for mid-depth peels (think TCA 18%-25%, LA 75-100% etc) b/c of the improved wound healing speed. And now that I think of it, peels are nothing more than 'controlled' burns. Anyhoo....

    At least the salmon was tasty!
    Last edited by cillakat; 10-30-2010, 03:16 PM.

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  • #2
    Poor Cilla!!!! I'm SOOOOOO sorry. Get better soon!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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    • #3
      Oh. Shit! Hope it heals very quickly! That kind of burn is extremely painful - I speak from experience myself.
      Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

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      • #4
        Oh boy! You're one hot mess in the kitchen! Prayers for a swift recovery. I guess its one of your new primal battle scars ha! Thanks for the heads up on honey and such for burns..I manage to singe myself up far too much


        • #5
          Lavendar oil, applied topically. It really works on skin burns!!
          activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within


          • #6
            OUch! I hope it heals quickly, that is some scary stuff!

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            • #7
              I'm glad you are OK.

              At least the salmon was tasty!
              You were able to finish the salmon while caring for your burn? You're amazing.
              "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
              "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
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              • #8
                Hoping you heal watch out for infection in the burns. The antibacterial properties of the honey should be helpful in preventing infection, but be wary, nonetheless.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                  using all of the pain coping techniques learned 12 years ago when pregnant with the first. It's funny how those really are helpful in so many situations when it's necessary to stay calm and in control.
                  I honestly think a lot of those are more useful after giving birth than during (though I do not have first-hand knowledge of giving birth, I have used similar breathing techniques to calm myself). not panicking in front of the kids is often half the battle.

                  if you have a good GP with a more reasonable copay, I'd go check in just to be sure things are healing the way they should and see if you can get a stronger or topical pain killer for those really bad moments. (ymmv, I'm a cautious one)

                  also, FEEL BETTER!


                  • #10
                    I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.


                    • #11
                      good lord, woman. see, now you gotta come to ohio so we can compare cooking battle scars here's to healing!

                      HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal


                      • #12
                        I rank this as among the "occupational hazards" of going primal - I've burned myself more than once, most recently last week when casserole-juice leapt out of the dish and up my hand. I did blister, but it's nothing compared to what you described! Hope you're doing well, and if it's any consolation, my burns healed without leaving any mark, and I'm going to opine that it's due to our superior diet, so you will too.

                        Still, ouch!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bUMbLeB View Post
                          I rank this as among the "occupational hazards" of going primal
                          I've grabbed the handle of a 450 degree pan more than once...ouch!

                          Also, just about all my shirts now have grease stains.
                          I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.


                          • #14
                            Ouch! I hope you feel better soon!


                            • #15
                              My prediction was that there would be no visible signs left of the burn by 48h post incident as that has been my experience with 2nd degree burns and when using raw honey as a tx.

                              We're at about 41h right now and it's pretty clear that while much of it is gone - not all of it will be by 48h.

                              -arm and chest burns show the most post inflammatory hyperpigmentation - probably b/c they didn't get as much attention with cold water
                              - forehead redness is all gone, with the exception of the one spot where I stupidly peeled the blister. It occasionally returns when the honey is fully absorbed but simply applying more relieves any redness or burning.
                              -tiny, tic tac sized blister on one eyebrow and between my eyebrow and hairline
                              -tiny darkly pigmented spot (size of a small lentil) on my left cheek....I guess I missed that spot with early cold water and honey tx. it doesn't hurt though and over time it should go away with careful sunscreen use and daily rx retinoids.
                              -tiny spot on my left hand.... larger but very mild spot on my right hand.

                              Lila tried to take pics but even with all the lights on, the iphone camera wasn't capturing very well. I can't find the charger for my phone battery. Maybe I'll see if Marc can bring his camera home from the office. There isn't as much to see now but...

                              Anyhoo, the lessons learned:

                              -place food in the hot oily pan using long tongs

                              -always have on hand:
                              1)any raw honey (doesn't need to be expensive manuka honey)
                              2)also worth having on hand:n Honey Gardens, Honey House Propolis Salve, .85 oz (24 g) $5.92
                              it's not as sticky/shiny as plain raw honey. Easier when you're out and about b/c it doesn't stick to everything.
                              3)gauze and appropriate first aid tape... use only after the burn has cooled. handy to keep the honey treatments in place
                              4)vitamin A (or just eat some liver) and zinc (improve wound healing )
                              5) if applied early and often (after soaking burn in cold - never ice cold - water), you'll feel 'take the sting' out of the burn and see it reduce the redness. When the pain or redness starts to return, apply more honey/salve.
                              6)avoid topical use of butter and topical E oil - they are not appropriate burn treatments. the evidence (while not well done) is much better for honey than it is for aloe vera.

                              Interesting reading regarding burns:

                              All of the honey evidence comes from one group in India (see below). The cite immediately following will be the first honey/burn article published outside of that group:

                              Evidence for regarding honey and burns:

                              A prospective randomised clinical and histological study of superficial burn wound healing with honey and silver sulfadiazine
                              M. Subrahmanyam
                              Department of Surgery, Dr Vaishampayan Memorial Medical College, Solapur 413 003, Maharashtra, India

                              Histological and clinical studies of wound healing have been made on comparable fresh partial thickness burns with honey dressing or silver sulfadiazine (SSD) in two groups of 25 randomly allocated patients. Of the wounds trea
                              ed with honey 84 per cent showed satisfactory epithelialization by the 7th day, and in 100 per cent of the patients by the 21st day. In wounds treated with silver sulfadiazine, epithelialization occurred by the 7th day in 72 per cent of the patients and in 84 per cent of patients by 21 days. Histological evidence of reparative activity was seen in 80 per cent of wounds treated with the honey dressing by the 7th day with minimal inflammation. Fifty two per cent of the silver sulfadiazine treated wounds showed reparative activity with inflammatory changes by the 7th day. Reparative activity reached 100 per cent by 21 days with the honey dressing and 84 per cent with SSD. Thus in honey dressed wounds, early subsidence of acute inflammatory changes, better control of infection and quicker wound healing was observed while in the SSD treated wounds sustained inflammatory reaction was noted even on epithelialization.
                     (full article at link)
                              Subrahmanyam M.,1 Sahapure A.G.,1 Nagane N.S.,2 Bhagwat V.R.,2 Ganu J.V.2
                              São José Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal
                              1 Department of Surgery, Government Medical College, Miraj and General Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra, India
                              2 Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College

                              SUMMARY. In this prospective trial 100 burn patients were randomized in two equal groups to be treated either with honey dressing or with silver sulphadiazine gauze dressing. In the honey-treated group, wounds healed earlier (mean, 15.4 days versus 17.2 days). Serum lipid peroxide levels were raised in the immediate post-burn period in both groups. However, by days 7 and 14 there was a significant reduction in malon dialdehyde values that was more significant in the honey-treated group. Bacterial cultures revealed that 90% were rendered sterile in the honey-treated group, whereas in the silver-sulphadiazine-treated group there was persistent infection. Honey, by its anti-oxidant effect, presumably helped to limit lipid peroxidation and contributed to the rapid healing of the wounds, apart from its other known beneficial effects.
                              Topical application of honey in treatment of burns
                              Dr M. Subrahmanyam
                              Article first published online: 8 DEC 2005
                              DOI: 10.1002/bjs.1800780435
                              A total of 104 cases of superficial burn injury were studied to assess the efficiency of honey as a dressing in comparison with silver sulfadiazine gauze dressing. In the 52 patients treated with honey, 91 per cent of wounds were rendered sterile within 7 days. In the 52 patients treated with silver sulfadiazine, 7 per cent showed control of infection within 7 days. Healthy granulation tissue was observed earlier in patients treated with honey (mean 7·4 versus 13·4 days). Of the wounds treated with honey 87 per cent healed within 15 days as against 10 per cent in the control group. Relief of pain, a lower incidence of hypertrophic scar and postburn contracture, low cost and easy availability make honey an ideal dressing in the treatment of burns.
                              Last edited by cillakat; 03-05-2011, 11:35 AM. Reason: updated sources/citations

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