How Do I Treat a Grease Burn?

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Burns caused by hot grease are second-degree burns and require proper care to prevent infection or scarring. Depending on the severity of the grease burn, different methods of treatment are recommended. As always, if you have questions or concerns, contact a medical professional for assistance.

For A Grease Burn Without Open Blisters

  • Take care not to pop the blisters, as this is your body's way of protecting itself from infection. The skin around the burn will begin to swell so remove any tight-fitting clothing or jewelry that is near the burn. To help treat the pain, hold the burned area under cool running water or apply a towel or washcloth that has been moistened with cold water. Continue doing so until the pain has subsided. Don't use ice or ice water.

    Cover the burned area with a sterile, dry bandage (such as a gauze pad) and avoid applying tape to the burned area. Also, avoid using ointments, petroleum jelly, or other home remedies on the burn, as these trap in the heat and will increase the severity of the burn. If the burn is on an extremity, keep that area elevated to combat swelling.

For A Grease Burn With Open Blisters

  • Unlike a burn without open blisters, you should not run cool water over the burn. Also, if there is any clothing that is stuck to the burn, don't remove it. You may, however, apply a sterile, dry bandage (such as a gauze pad), again avoiding the application of tape to the burn.

When To See A Doctor

  • If the burned area is larger than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, or if the burned area is on the face, hands, penis, vaginal area, buttocks or over a joint, you should seek medical attention. Also, whether the initial burn was treated by a doctor or not, you should seek medical attention if you develop a fever, pus, green or brown fluid from the burn, increased redness, increased swelling or numb or cool skin beyond the area of the burn. You should also see a doctor for a burn that takes more than 2 weeks to heal. These may be signs of an infection and will need immediate treatment.

Proper Burn Care

  • It is very important that you give proper attention to your burn in order to prevent infection. Before changing a bandage, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water. Have the new bandage sitting ready on a sterile area such as a towel. Use care when removing the old bandage and soak it to assist in removing if it is sticking to the burn. Very gently wash the burned area and examine it for any changes indicative of infection like pus, swelling and redness. Spread a thin layer of an antibiotic cream over the burn then carefully dress the burn with the clean bandage.

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