Burn Diary

OBLIGATORY WARNING: contains graphic images.

Playing With my Burn
Originally Posted
July 26th, 2007 at 22:01

So, I burnt my leg yesterday. I was going to describe it to you, but instead I’m just going to stick a photo below. Basically, if I’m going to injure myself, I’m going to do it properly. Just like that papercut on my middle finger. I made mention the other week that I don’t bleed. I proved myself wrong. I proved myself wrong with a jagged cuticle-slashing papercut. Mmm, that one hurt. And it did bleed, only a few drops, because even when my body concedes that bleeding is really the appropriate response, it still does it half-heartedly.

That one kept ripping open too. It has now finally sealed enough that every damn time I catch the ragged skin edges on anything and everything, it does not start oozing again. It hasn’t sealed enough yet that to stop there from being enough loose edges for me to catch my finger on any less-than-smooth surface.

But, back to the point. I have this lovely red mark on my leg, and true to form, I can’t help myself from poking it. It’s not fault that wounds are fascinating. It’s not my fault this one happens to be more interesting than your average blister or cut.

The main reason being that the burn hasn’t blistered in the conventional sense. This is the largest burn I’ve sustained, possibly the deepest, I don’t burn myself often. What has happened is that the majority of the upper layers of skin in the burn area has lifted, but there doesn’t seem to be much by way of blood-plasma underneath. I know there is some, as it decided to seep last night and stick to my sock (oh, that was “fun”), but it hasn’t puffed up.

What this means is that I have a layer of loose skin that attached on all four sides. Looks pretty weird, and it allows me to apply pressure to different points around the burn and watch the skin stretch like clingwrap to compensate for the stresses.


Day Four — Saturday, July 28


Day Five — Sunday, July 29


Overnight, I do not know how, the blister over the burn burst wide open. This picture looks a lot better than what I was greeted with when I woke up today, as I very carefully washed the area and disinfected the whole deal.

Day Seven — Tuesday, July 31

Burn4.jpg Burn5.jpg

Here, the first photo was taken just after a shower, the second a few hours later.


Day Eleven — Saturday, August 4


As you can see, the burn is shrinking by the day; and judging by the colouration of the skin, the damage is not as deep as before.

Day Thirteen — Monday, August 6


The scab has split open along the edge of the deepest part of the burn, and I fully expect it to start flaking away any moment now. If I can restrain from picking it, that is.

Day Fifteen — Wednesday, August 8


As you can see, most of the scab is now gone. On Tuesday morning, I hitched up the leg of my pants because the fabric resting on the burn is annoying and part of the scab lifted. From then, it was on for young and old, and I spent the last two days ever-so-carefully removing tiny flakes of scab, being very careful to leave anything that was painful to lift and smoothing on the Aloe Vera gel several times a day. The deepest part of the burn will likely not lift for a few more days yet because the skin underneath is still quite damaged. There are some irregularities in the brand-new red skin, those colour patterns will probably remain as scarring. I can, however, confidently say that for the area no longer covered in scab that the damage clearly did not sink very far into the second layer of skin. If you look at the full-size picture, you’ll see the hair happily growing (though trimmed short again) as if nothing happened. Have I ever mentioned that skin is really ugly that close? Please also ignore the scab above the burn (on the right hand side of the image) - that was self inflicted during a very itchy stage due to an ingrown hair.


Day Seventeen — Friday, August 10


After several days of patient picking, the entire top surface of the scab has come away. I know! I know! Don’t pick scabs and all that, but I really wanted to know how much damage there was underneath, and it was lifting. It basically looks like there is a whole ‘nother layer of imbedded scab along the most damaged part of the burn, but it’s not as large as the scab made it look. The clinical light the photo was taken under doesn’t show the same details you would see looking at the burn in person, but highlights other details you don’t really see normally. There is a rift of healthy-looking skin along where the scab split - I don’t know if that’s a cause and effect or something else. The skin around the edges is starting to peel as I predicted - very much like a sunburn (albeit a very bad one) now that the upper layer of damaged skin is gone.

Day Eighteen — Saturday, August 11


My prediction was wrong, the entire thing has decided to scab over again and get gross and flaky instead of peeling. It looks more like a burn, the surface is very irregular as if there had been many small blisters. I’m guessing that this is caused pores creating voids, or hairs pushing up under the skin, stopping parts of the scab from sticking and creating the bubbly appearance. But I’m just speculating. The scab over the deepest part of the burn, it still pretty deeply ingrained, and I fully expect it will scab over at least twice more than the rest of the burn. However, it is shrinking noticeably.

Day Nineteen — Sunday, August 12


You can see that the number of self-inflicted scabs around the burn itself is increasing. It itches like all hell, and if I scratch and my nails catch anything, then I have to itch it until I’m satisfied. Thus, a large number of re-growing hairs (I’ve been keeping them very short so I can use medical tape on the area) have been itched into oblivion to satisfy my healing itch.

Day Twenty — Monday, August 13


A different angle, huzzah! There’s not much change here, so I don’t know why I bothered. Although you can quite clearly see the rapidly shrinking area of raw skin at the bottom of the picture in this one.

Day Twenty One — Tuesday, August 14


Yes, I know, don’t pick the scabs. I couldn’t help myself, even when it was painful. You might also note, towards the bottom of the picture is a deep blood-red scab that’s actually within the damage area. I don’t think it was itchier than normal, I just think I had less self-control than normal. The purple colour in this shot is caused by cold, but I think it does make the pattern of damage a little more noticeable.

Day Twenty Four — Friday, August 17


The burn has started to peel like a bad sunburn, very dry and scaly. There is a blood blister and a number of scabs from the incessant itchyness, but hopefully it won’t itch so much now that it doesn’t appear to be scabbing anymore. Looking at the peel, I’m feeling less and less certain that there will be any scarring - almost a disappointment really.

Day Thirty One – Friday, August 24


Wow, that was a long time between updates, sorry. That being said, clearly you can see that there’s not much happening here so I guess there’s no harm in leaving it so long.

Day Thirty Four – Monday, August 27


In all honesty, I think this photo makes the burn look far worse than it really is. Maybe I just can’t look at it that close in real life. In actuallity, the scabs aren’t quite as pronounced.


Day Thirty Five — Tuesday, August 28


This is the last day I bothered updating the burn diary. Almost a year has passed, and if I remember, I will endevour to take one final photo on the anniversary of the burn, to show my sad and rather unscarred skin.

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