How to Treat a Burn


Burns can occur any time, especially in the kitchen. Minor burns heal easily and do not cause much problems. However, severe burns need to be protected from infection and scarring. This article reveals how to treat a burn.

Categories of Burns
First, the severity of the burn should be gauged. Burns are commonly categorized into three types: first degree, second degree and third degree. First degree burns are painful and the skin looks red. For example, sunburn is usually a first degree burn. Second degree burns are often accompanied by blisters and swelling. Third degree burns are more serious as the skin is completely burnt through.

How to Treat a Burn

First and second degree burns are usually considered minor burns. You can treat these burns yourself and they normally heal quickly. Follow the below given steps to treat a minor burn:

  • Immerse the burnt skin in cool water. Never apply ice directly to the burn, which can cause skin damage. Keep the burnt skin area in the water, till the pain ceases or diminishes.
  • Never use a bandage to cover the burn, as it will stop air supply and make it harder to heal.
  • Take an over-the-counter painkiller to relieve pain.
  • Beware of infections, which can especially occur in second degree burns if blisters break and become dirty.

Steps to Treat a Major Burn

    For major burns, follow these steps to give timely care till medical help arrives:

  • Call for emergency medical services immediately.
  • Never remove charred clothing or other material, as this can cause bleeding. However, remove unburned clothing and jewelry to free the burnt area.
  • Apply a cool compress on the burnt area for just a little while to reduce temperature. Never use ice and do not immerse the burnt skin in cool water for a a long time.
  • Calm down the victim with words of reassurance as they may be in a state of shock.
  • Cover the burnt skin with sterile, moist and cool bandages.
  • Reassure the victims and give him/her company until medical help arrives.

Tips to Treat a Burn

  • Use only pure, clean and cool water to immerse the burn.
  • Wash both your hands thoroughly before treating the burn. If possible, wear gloves to prevent infection.
  • Do not pop blisters caused by burns.

Warnings for Treating Burns

  • Never try to treat major burns by applying butter, grease, oil, cream, lotion or ointments.
  • Do not slow down the doctor by applying any unnecessary ointment on the burn, which may have to be removed, before treatment can be done.
  • Flush chemical burns with clean water and remove contaminated clothing and articles.
  • For severe burns, get a doctor’s help as soon as possible.

The above tips on how to treat a burn are only meant to give you some idea about what to do in case you or your loved on suffers a burn. Do not neglect medical help and always seek a doctor’s advice after following the above given first-aid tips.

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