4 doctors weighed in:

I burned my hand rather badly on the bottom of a pot and im wondering if its infected or if i need medical attention. I imminently couldn't feel it and i rushed it under mildly cold running water for about 10 min as soon as i noticed the burn, after that

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Monica Wood
Surgery - Hand Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: It

It can be difficult to distinguish a severe burn from an infection.
Both will be red. Both will have drainage, particularly if blisters have ruptured. Both will be tender to the touch. If the redness is increasing, the pain is increasing, or the drainage is abundant and has a foul odor, it is more likely infected. One thing many patients overlook is the possibility of getting tetanus from a burn. If your last immunization was more than 5 years ago, you should get a new one. It is very helpful to have a hand surgeon look at the burn. He/she can help distinguish between the tissue damage from the burn itself and an infection that requires antibiotics. Often, silvadene (silver sulfadiazine) cream will be used as an anti-septic and salve. Thankfully, the palm of the hand has a very thick dermis layer and it takes a lot of heat to create a full-thickness (third degree) burn. A hot pan can deliver that amount of heat depending on its temperature, thickness, and the amount of time your hand was in contact. If the burn leaves an elongated scar, it can cause contractures, where the skin tightens and it becomes more difficult to open your hand. A hand surgeon can also help determine if the scar will be a problem and needs releases or skin grafting.

In brief: It

It can be difficult to distinguish a severe burn from an infection.
Both will be red. Both will have drainage, particularly if blisters have ruptured. Both will be tender to the touch. If the redness is increasing, the pain is increasing, or the drainage is abundant and has a foul odor, it is more likely infected. One thing many patients overlook is the possibility of getting tetanus from a burn. If your last immunization was more than 5 years ago, you should get a new one. It is very helpful to have a hand surgeon look at the burn. He/she can help distinguish between the tissue damage from the burn itself and an infection that requires antibiotics. Often, silvadene (silver sulfadiazine) cream will be used as an anti-septic and salve. Thankfully, the palm of the hand has a very thick dermis layer and it takes a lot of heat to create a full-thickness (third degree) burn. A hot pan can deliver that amount of heat depending on its temperature, thickness, and the amount of time your hand was in contact. If the burn leaves an elongated scar, it can cause contractures, where the skin tightens and it becomes more difficult to open your hand. A hand surgeon can also help determine if the scar will be a problem and needs releases or skin grafting.
Dr. Monica Wood
Dr. Monica Wood
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Surgery - Hand Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: If

If it is through only your epidermis it is not a third degree burn.
Typicallya second degree burn will blister, a first degree burn will be red and a third degree burn is a full thickness burn with leathery tissue. Many burns have a mixed presentation. A deep second degree burn or a third degree burn may need additional surgical debridement. All burns are prone to infection and infection can complicate or worsen the burn however you should not be the one making these decisions.

In brief: If

If it is through only your epidermis it is not a third degree burn.
Typicallya second degree burn will blister, a first degree burn will be red and a third degree burn is a full thickness burn with leathery tissue. Many burns have a mixed presentation. A deep second degree burn or a third degree burn may need additional surgical debridement. All burns are prone to infection and infection can complicate or worsen the burn however you should not be the one making these decisions.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Thank
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