Accidents come unannounced yet we need to keep ourselves prepared at all times. They could vary in intensity and at times the conditions and situations can be adverse but what is needed is a good presence of mind. At the same time it is also necessary to educate oneself with the basic knowledge of treating aliments.
Most of us are aware of how to treat cuts and bruises but when it comes to burns there are different approaches people take. Some are correct while some are not.
If not treated well a minor burn takes the form of a major ailment. In order to avoid any unpleasant development it is good to know how to care for minor burns.
The kitchen is the most likely place for minor burns to take place. Holding a hot pan by mistake, accidentally touching a hot vessel, a little splash of oil while frying etc. are common occurrences. In fact many a times we do not even take care to see what has happened and just carry on with our work. We fail to notice when a small blister occurs and when it dries up on its own. With no medication the wound heals up on its own.
What is a minor or first degree burn?
A burn can be classified into three degrees depending upon the extent of damage it has caused. A first degree burn does not do any damage beyond the upper layer of the skin. Normally a small blister forms, the liquid dries and the blister covering falls off thereby revealing the renewed skin. Basic knowledge of how to care for minor burns at home can help heal these burns.
Second degree and third burns go beyond the upper layer and call for medical help. In some cases if a second degree burn is not on a joint, hand, face or groin it can be treated as a first degree burn.
Treating minor burns
Running water: In case of a minor burn the first thing to do is to run cold water over the affected area. The water should be cold but not chilled. Keep the injured area under running water for close to 10 – 20 minutes so as to bring down the temperature of the skin and provide relief to the victim.
Sterile gauge: Wrap a sterile gauge around the burn. This not only provides relief to the burnt area but also helps keep infection away. Make sure not to wrap any kind of cotton bandage or any other material that can stick to the burn.
Pain killer: Be it minor or major a burn is painful. When following steps on how to care for minor burns as home it is advisable to give an over-the-counter painkiller like paracetamol of ibuprofen. While it gives relief from the pain it also helps reduce the swelling to some extent.
Kitchen remedies: Grandmothers have often passed down homemade remedies on how to care for minor burns. Some of the ingredients found at home can serve as excellent treatments for minor burns. To name a few there is honey, turmeric, oatmeal and tea. Another excellent item found at home is toothpaste. Applying it to the affected area brings about great relief.
Word of caution
Varied people give varied advice on how to care for minor burns but as an aware and educated individual take care NEVER to do the following:
Never apply ice to a burnt area. The extreme change in temperature may cause severe damage to the skin beyond the top layer.
Never apply any kind of moisturizer, oil or petroleum jelly to an affected area as it will trap the heat in the skin causing further damage.
Never burst or damage a blister. The formation of a blister is the initiation of the healing process. Breaking it will lead to infection and cause great pain.
Being aware of how to care for minor burns can help control an injury in time and provide timely relief to burn victims.