Tips for Treating Burns

Accidents can happen at any time. In many cases, people in the surroundings are unable to help because they are unaware of what to do. Therefore, one should always seek knowledge regarding crises. One of the most common ones is when a person has had any kind of burns on the body. This may be due to fire or any hot item as well. Here are a few tips to treat burns. 

Burn Types

Doctors measure the severity of the burn or scald on a scale from 0 to 4 degrees. A hospital visit is not required on every kind of burn. However, third and fourth-degree burns need emergency medical attention. A person can treat a first and second-degree burn at home by utilizing the items already available in the kitchen. 

Removal of Constrictive Items

Take off any jewelry, belt, or tight clothing which is in direct contact with burn, as burns can swell pretty quickly and tight items can cause an infection. Besides, some of the items which have a low melting point can melt on your skin which could cause immense pain. 

Cool Water Treatment

It is prescribed by physicians that right after the burn incident, one should hold the affected area under cool running water for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pain subsides. It will cool down the burned skin and prevent further damage as well. Start the water treatment at least one minute after the burn so that there are no burn marks left behind. 

Cool water treatment helps prevent burning sensation.

Protect the Burn 

It is essential to clean the burn thoroughly, but it should be done gently by using only antibacterial soap or liquid. After the cleaning, you should cover the burn with a non-adhesive sterile pad. Sterile gauze will help in preventing infection. This is because they have alcohol in them which helps in eliminating all kinds of bacteria. 

Bandage

The bandage is necessary if you see any oozing in the blisters or the burn is in a place where chafing is possible.  Furthermore, if you live in an open area where dirt can easily enter your burn, a loose bandage is very important to prevent further damage. However, if the burn blisters are not open, there is no need for a bandage.

Ointment Application

Cover your oozing blisters with an antibiotic ointment or cream. It will soothe the pain and help you to heal faster. After the application, cover all the exposed blisters to protect the burn from infection. One of the most popular ointments for treating burns is Burnol. Many other over-the-counter medicines can be purchased from a pharmacy. 

Aloe Vera

People consider aloe vera as a miracle plant. Today, the majority of skin products like creams, sunscreens, and moisturizers have aloe vera as their primary ingredient. The pure gel of aloe vera is a tropical remedy to heal burn wounds. It is a natural anti-inflammatory plant with antibacterial properties, which will help in decreasing any bacterial growth in the burn wound.

Aloe Vera is helpful in treating burns. 

Honey

People before us considered honey as a solution for all the problems. They also use honey as a burn treatment for its healing properties. However, before applying honey to the burn area, make sure that you are using pure honey. This is because chemically processed honey might not be helpful in curing the burn. 

For application, drop some honey on a bandage and place it on top of the burn. It will sterilize the area and prevent infection. Honey also helps in soothing the burned skin giving you comfort in no time. Besides, it will also work as a pain reliever.  Research done in 2018 concluded that applying honey to a burn wound might provide clinical benefits.

Plastic wrap

According to the recommendation of the UK’s National Health Service, using plastic wraps available in households is considered as one of the potential remedies to treat the burn. Instead of wrapping the limb, use the sterile wrap to just cover the burn. However, in the case of hand burn, you can use a see-through plastic sterile bag to prevent infection. Furthermore, research done in 2014 on burn infections suggests that the chances of infection decrease by using plastic wrap over a burn area. 

Prevent Shock

If the person has an injury on the face or head try to sit up straight, it will prevent further swelling. However, if there is no injury on the head, neck or legs try to lay down flat and elevate your feet about 12 inches. If possible, try to elevate the burn area above heart level. This will help in preventing shocks. 

Over-the-Counter Medication

For burn pain, you can take medications, but avoid taking too many of them as it may cause some side effects. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain treatment that can also decrease inflammation.

Moreover, here are some over-the-counter medications that doctors prescribe for pain.

  • Acetaminophen
  • Naproxen
  • Burnol

Naproxen is a medication for treating burns. 

Tips for Kids

Kids usually get afraid after injury and won’t stand long enough in running water to cool down the burn. After cleaning the wound, perform a cool compress on the burn to ease the pain. Don’t use ice directly on the wound as it may cause further damage to the tissue. Run a sterile cloth under the cold water and put it on the burn. 

For treating burns in kids it’s best to apply honey on the plastic cling and put it on top of the wound. It will promote healing and also work as a pain reliever. 

Things to avoid when treating a Burn

Many remedies are passed down to us by our ancestors as a burn treatment. Here is a list of those tips that we should avoid before they can cause further damage. 

Oils

It is a common myth that applying oils like coconut oil or olive oil helps in treating burn wounds. However, oils trap heat rather than allowing it to escape from burns. Some research does support oils for burn treatment but only for the burn scars not for the blisters. Besides, there is no thorough evidence to support the usage of oil for the treatment of burns.  

Egg

Another remedy to avoid is spreading egg white on burn blisters to relieve pain.  Egg whites can cause severe irritation in the blisters. They can also develop a bacterial infection. They are commonly confused with the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera gel. However, egg whites do not have any anti-inflammatory properties that could treat burns.

Ice

Many people turn to ice instead of cool water to ease the pain, they believe that cold temperature will work better than water. However, ice will cause more damage like irritation in the skin and cold burns. 

Sticky Bandage

Never use a sticky bandage for burn wounds as they might stick to the burned tissue and promote further damage. Furthermore, the bandage shouldn’t be too tight as it may cause swelling. Sticky bandages might also cause extra pain. 

Sun Exposure

Keep the burn away from the sun until the redness goes away. Protecting the area from the sun can help to reduce both pain and scarring. People with burns should always cover their wounds even if they are healed, as UV rays can deepen the burn and cause irritation. To minimize burn scarring use sunscreen higher than SPF 30, especially for people with darker skin tones. 

Electrical burns

In the case of electrical burns, never use home remedies to ease the pain. The best solution for the electrical burn is to seek emergency medical attention. Electrical burns may look harmless from the outside but they can cause some serious internal injuries. Besides, there can be long-term consequences that should be dealt with by a professional first-hand. 

Tips for Major Burn

  • In the case of a major burn, immediately visit the hospital or call an ambulance.
  • Until help arrives, protect the person from further harm and remove all the restrictive items from the burned person’s body.
  • Never apply water on major burns as it can cause hypothermia.
  • Try to talk to the burned person so they will not go into shock. Symptoms of shock include fainting, trembling, and low breathing.

Major burns should be treated by medical attention. 

Conclusion

Most of us either have burnt ourselves once in a while or we have seen someone burning their hands, or any other body part. However, if you remember the following tips, you can always minimize the impact of the burns as well. Bookmark this page and share with others too!