Boiling water and steam can cause scalding

Scalding is one of the most common household injuries, and usually results from carelessness. But what exactly does a scald do to our skin, and how should we treat one?

What are scalds?

Scalds are a particular form of burn caused by hot liquids or steam. Usually they affect not only the surface but also deeper layers of the skin. Hands, arms and torso are the areas most commonly affected by scalding. Scalds are usually small, but severe scalding affecting large areas of the body can happen, e.g. when a child pulls a pan of boiling water down from the oven.


Just as with the other burns, scalds are divided into three categories: First degree scalding means that there is merely some redness, similar to a sunburn. With third degree scalding there are open blisters.

What is the best way to treat scalding?

Mild scalding can be treated without medical assistance. Run lukewarm water from the tap over the affected area. Do not use cold water, cooling pads or ice cubes as these can cause further injury to the skin. Healing can be aided by applying a burn cream that you can get from your chemist without prescription.

Larger and more severe scalds should be treated by a doctor, because the risk of infection is high. The wound needs to be cleaned carefully, disinfected and covered.

Prevent lasting scars with Mederma®

Severe scalding can easily lead to lasting scars. To aid healing and prevent conspicuous scars you should treat the wound with Mederma® 2 to 3 times daily as soon as it has closed. The unique combination of active ingredients in Mederma® gel support the natural healing process of the skin, and help to ensure that the scar is as invisible as possible. 

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Boiling water and steam can cause scalding - Mederma

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