The present work analyzes skin burns from spills of hot rice and milk products. The traditional Norwegian rice porridge serves as an example. By testing spills on objects emulating an arm, it was concluded that spills were seldom thinner than 3 mm, and stayed in place due to the viscosity of the porridge for more than one minute. The Pennes bioheat equation was solved numerically for such spills, including heat conduction to the skin and convective heat losses from the porridge surface. Temperatures were analyzed in the porridge and skin layers, and the resulting skin injury was calculated based on the basal layer temperature. Parameters influencing burn severity, such as porridge layer thickness, porridge temperature, removal of the porridge and thermal effects of post scald tempered (15 °C) water cooling were analyzed. The spilled porridge resulted in a prolonged heat supply to the skin, and the skin injury developed significantly with time. The porridge temperature turned out to be the most important injury parameter. A 70 °C porridge temperature could develop superficial partial-thickness burns. Porridge temperatures at processing temperatures nearly instantly developed severe burns. It was demonstrated that prompt removal of the hot porridge significantly reduced the injury development. The general advice is to avoid serving porridge and similar products at temperatures above 65 °C and, if spilled on the skin, to remove it quickly. After such scald incidents, it is advised to cool the injured area by tempered water for a prolonged period to stimulate healing.
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