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Feed Your Face: How to Treat an Oven Burn

By Dr Jessica Wu

As I grew up, I always had the job of doing the holiday baking (pies were my specialty). Nowadays, the crust is likely to be frozen, but I do try to make at least one pie during the holidays. Whether you’re an avid baker or you mostly use the oven to heat up leftovers, chances are you may end up with an oven burn at some point. Here’s what to do:

Cool it down. If you can, immediately run the burned area under cold water to bring down the temperature. Or apply a cold washcloth to the burn, or an ice pack wrapped in a dishtowel. Avoid putting ice directly on your skin, because it may stick or even give you frostbite (I’ve seen this happen). Keep chilling the area until the pain subsides, usually 15 to 20 minutes. Do not apply butter or a greasy ointment, as it would hold in the heat.

Lift it up. Keep the burned area elevated as much as possible to help reduce pain, swelling, and blistering. If the burn does blister, don't pop it, because this can cause infection.

Pop a pill. Aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are anti-inflammatories, so they can reduce redness and swelling as well as relieve pain -- be sure to check with your doctor first, though, if you’re taking blood thinners or have an underlying medical condition.

If your skin is burned over a significant area (more than the size of a quarter) and the burn is very deep, painful, and/or oozes -- or if it doesn't look and feel better in a day or two -- be sure to see a doctor. These may be signs of an infection or a more serious injury that may require medical attention.


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