How to Treat a Burn
Whether you have poured hot scalding water over yourself or accidentally touched the hot oven rack in the kitchen you will know how painful burns can be. In fact burns are a common injury that can destroy the skin and cause immense pain. While minor burns will generally heal on its own with little care, second degree and third degree burns are usually severe and can result in serious complications. It is therefore best to seek medical attention immediately when suffering from serious burn injuries. If however you are suffering from minor burns then you can take certain steps to treat them yourself before seeking medical help.
- Place the affected area under cool flowing water. Once an area is burnt, the heat spreads to the surrounding tissues quickly thus damaging these areas as well. It is therefore important to cool the skin as soon as possible. If you cannot find running water then use cold water compresses to treat the area. Do not apply ice directly over the burns as it can lead to nerve damage and frostbite.
- Once you have poured water over the burn assess its severity. While first degree burns are usually minor resulting in red and inflammation of the outer skin layer along with some peeling, second degree burns destroy the second layer of the skin causing painful blisters and swelling. Third degree burns are quite severe leading to charring of the skin tissues and the destruction of the nerve endings. Assessing the nature of the burns helps in the providing the necessary medical treatment.
- To treat a first degree or minor burn, spread on some cooling aloe vera gel or apply cold milk compress on the burn after cleaning it properly. The allantoin in the aloe vera helps in treating the burns faster. You can also apply an antibiotic burn cream that prevents the chances of an infection.
- Dress the affected area with sterile pieces of gauze dressing. This will allow the burnt area to breathe while protecting it from infections. Analgesics and other pain relievers can help with the pain. If there are any blisters then do not pop it as it can lead to the spread of the infection. Avoid the use of greasy butters and oils on the affected area.
If it is a major burn then seek medical help immediately. Do not try to remove any clothes that re stuck to the affected area. Instead use cold compresses to reduce the temperatures.
Burns (First Aid): Get the Facts on Treating Burns – MedicineNet
Burns: First aid – Mayo Clinic