If you told me that I would get a second degree burn on my fingertip from a dish that was in a microwave for a measly 24 seconds, I would’ve laughed in your face.
But then I would’ve apologized immediately to you, because such a thing actually did happen to me a few weeks ago.
The full story isn’t particularly exciting; in fact, it’s as boring as it gets. But for the sake of context…I’d put a tablespoon of butter in a ramekin so I could melt it in the microwave for a recipe that I was making. I knew it would likely take fewer than 30 seconds for it to melt completely, so I stopped the microwave a little early and used my bare hand to take it out. The moment my fingertips met the ramekin, I became acutely aware that the dish had overheated – I couldn’t believe how blazingly hot the exterior was. I dropped the ramekin in the sink almost immediately, but the milliseconds of contact it had with my skin was enough to create a blister on my right middle fingertip that burned painfully for the remainder of the day.
I was quick to put some bacitracin and a bandage on the injury, but reluctant to expose the blister in the ensuing days as I didn’t want to exacerbate the wound (and honestly, it was unsightly, so I was eager to keep it under wraps so I didn’t have to look at it). So I changed my bandage every 24 hours or so, taking care to wash and dry my hands completely before applying a new band-aid.
But roughly one week after the injury occurred, I noticed that the blister was swelling. I peeked at it between bandage changes and saw that it was white and bubbly in appearance – totally gross, but also worrisome as it looked like it might pop should I strike it on any surface in just the wrong way. That’s when I made the executive decision to see my primary care doctor to get a medical professional’s opinion on the matter.
And I’m glad I did. I got confirmation that it was, indeed, a second-degree burn and that I’d done the right thing to keep it covered up. My healthcare provider reminded me that as a person with diabetes, I should do everything I can to avoid infection, so applying antibiotic ointment and keeping an eye on the wound was smart thinking. But I was also advised to remove the bandage when I went to sleep at night so the injury wouldn’t stay super moist for prolonged periods of time (added bonus that I could let it air out overnight while I was asleep so I could again avoid looking at it). More than two weeks post-incident, the burn is healing nicely as the skin grows healthier and I no longer need to wear a bandage over it.
What’s the point of this little anecdote about my kinda ridiculous, definitely painful injury? It’s that it’s always better to play it safe, just as my healthcare provider commended me for doing so. Silly injuries like this happen, but it’s important to roll with them when they do and act accordingly instead of just shrugging them off.
All health matters…well, matter when you have diabetes, and I’ve learned to look out for myself by checking in with my team whenever I’m concerned about something.