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August 05, 2008

How do I treat a burn?

August 5. Day 36.

Today we're getting personal. If you're squeamish about hair removal, come back tomorrow. I do promise, however, that I will revert to more benign askings -- finance and perks -- after this.

I burned myself today, and I didn't even realize it. It wasn't deep, but enough to turn the top layer of skin into crinkled tissue ready tear at the nearest touch. Enough to leave a bright pink rim where healthy skin meets raw. Enough to blister or scar if I don't treat it.

I was waxing my legs, which I started doing once I decided that paying $60 at a salon just isn't worth it. Not for what breaks down into $8 for wax, a hefty cut for for electricity and rent, another premium for expertise, and a hugest premium for self-indulgence. After all, people won't feel like they're spoiling themselves if they're actually getting a good deal. (Side note: In Argentina, waxing runs about $20. The service is considered routine, the necessity that it is, like getting your oil changed. Far from a luxury, hence no luxury premium. What would it take to shift the mentality in the states?) (Another side note: Part of my so-called disdain may stem from my lack of discretionary income. If I weren't a grad student, or if I happened to find an extra $50,000 every month in an envelope tucked under my pillow or waiting for me on random empty elevators, I would revert to salon services. I might also get an occasional car wash.)

I only noticed something was off an hour later, when I glanced down in sunlight and saw a feathery pattern on my shin. Was that -- a burn? But it didn't hurt at all. I looked online for photos and came across some really vivid images I'll spare you (note to self: no photo on today's posting), but most of the information was confusing and unreliable. So I called my doctor for a phone consult.

I include this here, as an asking, because it's so easy to not use the resources we're offered or we pay for. We want to be competent. We want to be self-sufficient. Delegating is so middle manager.

Gained: knowledge how to treat a second-degree burn (cool water, no ointment until the next day -- but really, this is second hand and every case is different, so ask a doc!)
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