Expert: Dr. J. DeLaughter - 4/29/2012
I got burned about 2 weeks ago while getting off a motorcycle. At first, it was just red and blistered. After I showered, the skin came off and the whole area (about 4in x3in) became pussy and very infected and as green as guacamole. I went to the Dr. And was given an oral antibiotic (keflex) and have been treating the burn with sulfadiazine daily and keeping it covered with a non adhesive pad. The outlining areas seem to be filling in with new skin but the middle of the burn, while not as pussy anymore is still quite wet and seems to be oozing more than before. I've also noticed that even though it appears to be getting better (very slowly) it has become more painful than it was before. Is increased pain normal and how long should it take for it to completely heal?
Burns from exhaust pipes on bikes are very common.
From your description, it sounds as though your burn is
deep partial thickness - what used to be called 2nd degree. This blisters, and may slough off. Infection complicating the burn will make it take longer to heal, but it should heal without any problem.
You should continue to keep it clean and dry. Apply the nonstick dressings at least daily, more often if they become soiled. With a 4x3 inch burn, it can take quite a while for the burn to heal completely - up to a month or more, especially with the infection you had. Increased sensation and pain/tingling are normal as the nerve endings are replaced. You may notice once it is fully healed that you have decreased sensation in that area compared to the other side, or before you had the burn.
Be vigilant looking for infection. Any pus-like drainage, increased redness, or increased warmth in the area should prompt you to be rechecked for infection. Infection is the most common complication of burns, and can cause significant problems if not caught early.
Good luck, be patient, and watch out for those exhaust pipes.