Oil burns are common household accidents, especially in the kitchen. Whether they are mild, severe, or somewhere in between, all oil burns should be treated with first aid measures as soon as possible. The main concerns are quickly reducing the skin's temperature to prevent the burn from worsening and reducing the risk of infection.
- Skill level:
Move away from the source of the hot oil immediately. Remove any clothing or jewellery that may have hot oil on it to prevent it from burning you or anybody trying to help you.
Flush the burnt area with cool running water for about 15 minutes or until the burn has cooled.
Soak a clean cloth in cool water and wring the water out to make a cool compress. Apply the cool compress to the burn injury to relieve some of the pain. You may also apply burn cream or regular lotion to the cooled burn injury to keep it moisturised.
Wrap the oil burn loosely with a bandage or gauze to protect it from further irritation or pressure. Consider taking an over the counter pain reliever for the pain from your oil burn. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can both help relieve most pain symptoms from mild burns.
Tips and warnings
- Do not burst any burn blisters that may appear, as this is your body's natural infection-fighting process. Allow them to resolve on their own. After they burst, wash the area with mild soapy water, dry it thoroughly and rewrap it in a bandage.
- Do not apply ice directly to the burn, as it can cause frostbite and further damage.
- Although most mild burns can be treated and healed at home, see your doctor if your oil burn affects large areas or more than one layer of skin.
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