With all the entertaining our patients do, we thought we’d discuss some common cooking injuries, burns, and lacerations.
Whether it’s from grilling or boiling water, burns can be very dangerous. If it’s a 1st-degree burn, the skin will appear red and may form blisters. Typically these burns are okay to treat at home.
When should I go to the emergency room?
If you see any open skin, more than just a blister popping, you may have a 2nd or 3rd degree burn and you will need to seek medical attention.
- A 2nd-degree burn will be extremely painful. The skin forms blisters and may be open, like a wound. A 2nd-degree burn will typically need to be treated, so you will need to seek medical attention. Infection prevention will be paramount with any open wound the burn causes.
- A 3rd-degree burn will require immediate medical attention. 3rd-degree burns typically do not hurt and the skin may appear charred. Depending on the amount of skin involved, the person could enter shock. Call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.
- Once you have initial treatment for your burn, your doctor may refer you to hand therapy where you will work to regain both range of motion and strength of your injured hand or arm.
The second of the common cooking injuries we treat is lacerations. This is a cut from a knife, mixer, or other kitchen utensil. You may or may not need stitches.
How do I know if I need stitches?
Here are some guidelines for deciding if you need stitches or not:
- If the cut is through all the layers of the skin and there is tendon (glistening white) or bone exposed.
- If the cut is close to a joint. Skin movement may keep your skin from closing on its own.
- And when in doubt, go to the emergency room.
So, be careful when using sharp knives in the kitchen and never stick your hand into the mixer while it is on. If you do end up requiring stitches, your doctor may prescribe you hand therapy after your stitches come out. Therapy in this case will help you restore movement to your hand or finger. Check out this Finger Range of Motion video for some simple exercises to get your finger moving again.
Did you sustain a cooking injury? Need assistance with dressing changes or scar management? LB Hand Therapy can help! You can schedule appointments either before or after surgery to discuss your treatment plan, get a dressing change, learn what’s going to make it easier to sleep or shower with a burn, and any other concerns you may have.