Cigarette burns of the cornea are the most common thermal injuries to the ocular surface in childhood. Usually, these occur in toddlers and are accidental, not manifestations of abuse. The burns usually result from the child running into a cigarette held at eye level by an adult. Despite the alarming initial white appearance of coagulated corneal epithelium, cigarette burns typically heal in a few days and without scarring. Treatment is the same as treatment of corneal abrasions (discussed in the previous section).
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.