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Minor Burns and Scalds Treatment

While burn injuries are quite frequent, knowing how to administer rapid first aid is critical to ensuring good recovery. Here are some of the most effective home cures for small burn injuries.

What exactly is a burn?

A burn happens when your skin comes into contact with or is overexposed to any cause of harm, causing damage to the skin tissue.

The many types of burn injuries and their symptoms

Burns can occur for a variety of reasons and are typically classed as follows:

Thermal burns

These burns are caused by being exposed to high-temperature sources such as hot objects, scalding liquids, steam, explosions, and fire.

Radiation burns

One of the most prevalent kinds of radiation burn is sunburn. Other types of radiation, such as X-rays or radiation therapy for cancer treatment, can also cause skin burns.

Friction burns

The friction between the skin and a hard object causes the skin's surface to rub off. Examples include abrasions and carpet burns.

Chemical burns

Strong acids, caustic solvents or strong household detergents can cause the skin to burn upon contact. These are known as chemical burns.

Electrical burns

These burns are a result of exposure to an electrical current or a lightning strike.

Cold burns

Although it may seem an oxymoron, the cold can cause burns to the skin too. This is known as an “ice burn” or “frostbite”, and it can cause the skin cells to die if the skin is left exposed to the cold for too long.

Severity of Burns

Burn injuries are classified according to severity, with first-degree burns being the least severe and fourth-degree burns being the most severe.

  • Minor burns, also known as first-degree burns, impact only the skin's surface layer and are characterized by a somewhat uncomfortable burning sensation, redness, and edema.

  • Second degree burns injure the deeper layers of the skin, resulting in blisters and skin that appears glossy, moist, and white.

  • Third-degree burns impact all layers of skin.

  • Fourth degree: These burns go beyond the skin and can affect tendons and bones.

First aid treatment for burn injuries

When a burn injury occurs, first assistance should be administered as quickly as possible. Third- and fourth-degree burns necessitate prompt medical intervention.

First and second-degree burns, on the other hand, are considered mild burns and may be treated at home, particularly if they are less than 3 inches in diameter.

Treating minor burns at home

Because first-degree burns are often small, the majority of them may be treated at home. However, knowing what to do to guarantee optimal recovery and little discomfort is critical.

  1. Cool the burn. Cool the burned area by running cool water over it for at least 10 minutes. If running water is unavailable, use a cold compress to the affected region until the discomfort subsides.

  2. Remove anything near the burnt area. Remove any jewelry or tight things off the burnt area since the pressure from the products may cause further pain as it swells.

  3. Apply a gentle moisturiser. Apply a moisturizing moisturizer to the burned area to keep it from drying out. Aloe vera is a wonderful moisturizer that can give relief.

  4. Cover the burn area. Apply sterile gauze to the burn area in a loose manner. It is critical to keep air away from the burn and to prevent blistered skin. Applying too much pressure on the skin might aggravate the discomfort.

  5. Take medications if needed. Take an over-the-counter pain killer if the burn is causing discomfort.

Tips to avoid when treating burns

Don’t apply ice

You may have been told in the past to apply ice, but don’t. Putting ice directly onto your burn can do more harm than good. Prolonged contact can cause frostbite and damage your skin. Stick to using a cool, clean compress to reduce the pain.

Don’t apply toothpaste

Using toothpaste as a burn treatment is another ineffective ‘remedy’ that you should not follow. It was probably thought that the minty, cooling sensation that toothpaste has would soothe a burn. In reality, toothpaste can irritate the skin and make a burn more prone to infection.

Don’t apply home remedies

There are some myths and old wives’ tales passed down from generation to generation that involves applying butter, egg whites and even oil to treat burns.

Not only are these ‘remedies’ unproven, they can actually introduce bacteria and unclean foreign substances to the burn area. Additionally, oil can trap heat and prevent your skin from cooling down. To reduce your risk of bacterial infection, avoid applying these products on your burn.

Don’t burst blisters

Blisters are your body’s natural way of protecting your skin layers against infection so leaving them alone is the best treatment for your burn. If your blister does break, make sure that you wash the site with water, then clean and apply an antibiotic cream to prevent it from getting infected.

When should you go to the hospital for a burn injury?

Severe burns (third and fourth degree) can cause the skin to seem leathery or burnt. Patches of white, brown, or black skin may appear around the burn. A serious burn is one that is greater than 3 inches in diameter. If the burn exhibits any of these symptoms or was caused by a source such as electricity or chemicals, seek emergency medical assistance at the local Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or contact an ambulance.

Learning first aid will give you the confidence to react effectively in the event of an accident.

It is critical to treat any potentially life-threatening injuries before dialing 995 for an ambulance.

It's also helpful to know when and if you should move someone after an accident, and when you should keep them still.

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Burn Injuries: Types and Symptoms. Retrieved on 4/3/2020 from
Cafasso, J. (2019). Home Remedies for Burns. Retrieved on 21/12/2019 from
Cafasso, J. (2019). Home Remedies for Burns. Retrieved on 25/2/2020 from
Frothingham, S. (2019). 4th Degree Burns: What You Need to Know. Retrieved on 25/2/2020 from
Frothingham, S. (2019). Performing First Aid for Burns. Retrieved on 21/12/2019 from
Lawrence, S. First Aid Myths: Ignore These Summer 'Cures'. Retrieved on 21/12/2019 from
Mayo Clinic Staff (2018). Burns: First aid. Retrieved on 21/12/2019 from
WebMD. What Are the Types and Degrees of Burns. Retrieved on 4/3/2020 from

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