What to do if you get scalded, as TOWIE star Megan McKenna reveals gravy burns

Megan McKenna, pictured, who has revealed how she ended up with facial burns. (Getty Images)
Megan McKenna shares how she ended up with facial burns after a freak accident involving scalding hot gravy. (Getty Images) (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Former the Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) star Megan McKenna has revealed that she was involved in a freak accident with scalding hot gravy, which left her with burns on her face.

The reality TV star, 30, shared her ordeal in a series of Instagram Stories and explained that she had been at her mother, Tanya’s house last weekend for a roast dinner when the accident occurred.

Her mum was carrying a pot of the hot gravy to the dinner table when she tripped over her dog Daisy, and the gravy "flopped out" onto McKenna's head.

"Daisy got underneath her feet, she tripped over Daisy, grabbed the gravy pot but the gravy inside flopped out and landed on my head," she told her followers. "Honestly, you can’t even write it. It's obviously caught the side of my face."

McKenna reassured her followers that she was "in the healing process", but showed the burns on her temple and ear. She added that she had a "huge blister" behind her ear, which "feels like it’s hanging off".

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However, she praised her mother for acting quickly and immediately taking McKenna over to the sink and running the affected area under cold water for 30 minutes.

"If that hadn’t happened, I don’t know what it would have looked like," she admitted. "Thank god we were right near a sink and she knew what she was doing. It was a couple of hours of stress."

Megan McKenna, wearing her dark brown hair in a high ponytail, attends The Sun's
Megan McKenna praised her mother's quick action in ensuring her burn injuries were minimised. (Getty Images) (WireImage)

What are the symptoms of burning and scalding?

Burning occurs when the skin is exposed to dry heat such as fire, a hot iron, or exposure to the sun, whereas a scald is caused by contact with wet heat, such as boiling water (or gravy) and steam.

Symptoms of both include:

  • Red skin

  • Peeling skin

  • Swelling

  • Pain in the area of the burn

  • Blisters

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What should you do if you get burned or scalded?

According to the NHS, there are several steps you should take in the event of a burn or scald.

  • Immediately remove the person from the heat source and remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt or scalded area of skin

  • Cool the affected area under cold or lukewarm running water for 20 to 30 minutes: Do not use ice, iced water, creams or greasy substances like butter

  • Cover the burn: After cooling, place a layer of cling film over the affected area

  • Use painkillers to treat any pain

  • Raise the affected area: This can help to reduce swelling

  • Dial 999: If it is an acid or chemical burn, call for help. Try to remove the chemical and any contaminated clothing and rinse the affected area with clean, cool water

Read more: These red flag signs on your hands could signal an underlying health issue (HuffPost UK, 3-min read)

When should I go to hospital to treat a burn?

Minor burns can be treated at home, but you should go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department for certain injuries involving burns, such as:

  • Large burns bigger than the size of your hand

  • Deep burns that cause white or charred skin

  • Burns on the face, neck, hands, feet, joints or genitals

  • All chemical and electrical burns

  • Signs of shock including cold, clammy skin, sweating, rapid breathing, and weakness of dizziness

If you or the person who has been burned is under the age of 10, has a medical condition or a weakened immune system, you should also go to hospital for treatment.

What types of burns are there?

There are four main types of burns that can look different and have different symptoms depending on how severe they are.

Superficial epidermal burn

This type of burn damages the outer layer of the skin, and is the least severe. Skin can appear red, slightly swollen and painful, but no blisters will form.

The amount of pain you feel after a burn is not always related to how severe the injury is, as sometimes, very serious burns may be relatively painless.

Superficial dermal burn

This is where the outer layer of skin and part of the tissue underneath are damaged. Skin will appear pale pink and painful and small blisters may appear.

Deep dermal or partial thickness burn

In these cases, the outer layer of skin and the tissue underneath are damaged. Skin will turn red and blotchy, and become swollen and blistered. It may be very painful or painless.

Full thickness burn

When this occurs, all three layers of the skin - the outer layer, tissue underneath, and the deeper layer of fat and tissue - become damaged. The skin is usually burnt away and the tissue underneath may appear pale or blackened. Any remaining skin on the area will be dry and white, brown or black with no blisters, and may appear leathery or waxy. It may also be painless.