Here are three possible scenarios for getting burns on your feet:
1. You take advantage of these last warm sunny days before fall and head out for a relaxing Saturday at Nickerson Beach Park. The sun is not so intense this time of year, so you skip the sunscreen while you sit and enjoy the splash of waves, the call of the gulls, and a good book. That night, the tops of your feet are pink or red and hurt when you touch them.
2. You work in a factory that uses chemicals like ammonia or chlorine. You wear your mesh sneakers to work one day and—sure enough—there’s an accident. The acid or alkaline substance spills on your foot, quickly soaking through shoes and socks. It burns the skin beneath, which starts to blister.
3. You walk past a construction crew working on a traffic light and are so interested in what they are doing that you don’t notice the wire laying along the ground. You trip over it and the shock is extreme. Fortunately, they cut the power immediately and rescue you, but your foot is severely burned.
Would you know what to do in each situation? In the first you have a superficial (or 1st degree) burn; only the top layer of skin is affected. It responds well to cool foot soaks (no ice), aloe vera gel to soothe it, and any pain relievers we recommend. It should heal quite well in a few days.
The second is a dermal (or 2nd degree) burn, because it reaches into the second layer of skin, the dermis. First aid includes running cool water over the area for 15 minutes or more. It is a good idea to seek treatment at our office if a large area is burned or blisters form. You can use antibiotic cream on blisters to head off infection, and cover with a loose, dry bandage. Most should heal in 2 – 3 weeks.
For burns that reach the subcutaneous tissue (3rd degree) you should call 911 immediately and get professional help.
Treating burns on the feet is one of the many things the experts at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates
do well, so call us at (718) 896-4433 in Rego Park, (516) 822-9595 in Plainview, or (718) 969-2266 in Flushing, NY, and let us help your skin heal.