So about a week ago, I decided to try a Lemon Meringue Tart recipe. I made the dough (simple enough), the lemon curd the night before and all that was left was the meringue part. Well to make this Italian meringue, I had to heat up sugar and a bit water to a soft ball stage. I should add at this point this was my first time working with hot sugar…! As I was pouring the hot sugar slowly into the beautiful egg whites that were whipping away in the bowl, I decided to turn down the speed on the mixer. My brain decided to forget that there was a spatula still lingering in the pot of hot sugar. Well that little spatula decided to do a head-dive into the mixer bowl and as you can guess, the moving whip knocked that spatula out and sprayed hot sugar all over the place. A large glob of it landed on my left thumb and a bit on my right middle finger. I’ll have to say, I’ve never seen skin instantly peel like that. I’ll save you the gory details but let’s just say my husband had to rush me to the nearest medical center.
We live in a small town so things move a bit slower, but to hear the receptionist tell us we had to wait 2 hours for an appointment was a bit annoying. They finally got a nurse out to look at it and she said it was a second (maybe third) degree burn. The strange part was that it didn’t actually hurt THAT bad, which makes me think I was either in shock or there was some nerve damage. My husband had to change my bandages for the first few days. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at my thumb wound until just recently.
I think it will be a while before I work with hot sugar again (my husband says never!) but I am VERY thankful that my daughter was no where near me and that none of it got on my face. Hopefully it will be healed in the next couple of weeks so I can work on some new cake projects.
Here are some home care instructions from WebMD if your burn doesn’t warrant a trip to the ER. I would suggest seeing a physician anyway if the burn is second-degree or worse, just in case.
Rinse the burn
Rinse burned skin with cool water until the pain stops. Rinsing will usually stop the pain in 15 to 30 minutes. The cool water lowers the skin temperature and stops the burn from becoming more serious. You may:
Place arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, or toes in a basin of cool water.
Apply cool compresses to burns on the face or body.
Do not use ice or ice water, which can cause tissue damage.
Take off any jewelry, rings, or clothing that could be in the way or that would become too tight if the skin swells.
Clean the burn
Wash your hands before cleaning a burn. Do not touch the burn with your hands or anything dirty, because open blisters can easily be infected.
Do not break the blisters.
Clean the burn area with mild soap and water. Some of the burned skin might come off with washing. Pat the area dry with a clean cloth or gauze.
Put on an antibiotic ointment. Ointments such as Bacitracin or Polysporin can be used each time you clean the burn. Do not put sprays or butter on burns, because this traps the heat inside the burn.
Bandaging the burn
If the burned skin or blisters have not broken open, a bandage may not be needed. If the burned skin or unbroken blisters are likely to become dirty or be irritated by clothing, apply a bandage.
If the burned skin or blisters have broken open, a bandage is needed. To further help prevent infection, apply a clean bandage whenever your bandage gets wet or soiled. If a bandage is stuck to a burn, soak it in warm water to make the bandage easier to remove. If available, use a nonstick dressing. There are many bandage products available. Be sure to read the product label for correct use.
Wrap the burn loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin.
Do not tape a bandage so that it circles a hand, arm, or leg. This can cause swelling.