The severity of burns determines whether there is a need for emergency treatment. Not all burns need a hospital visit. Some of them can be easily managed at home. Though painful, the first and the second-degree burns can be treated with the items present in the house.
Depending on the severity, burns can be categorized as,
First Degree Burns: It is the least severe burn as it affects just the outer layer of the skin.
Second Degree Burns: These burns affect the deeper layer of the skin and lead to white, wet, and shiny skin. It can lead to blister formation.
Third Degree Burns: It involves damage to all the layers of the skin.
Fourth Degree Burns: This burn involves the bones and joints.
First degree burns heal by them self, but home treatment can be taken to hasten the process. Second-degree burns, which are less than 3 inches in diameter, can be treated at home. Third and fourth-degree burns are considered as a medical emergency and should be treated in the hospital.
First Aid To Ease Burns at Home
- The first thing to be done is to stop the burning to prevent further burn.
- Burns caused by heat can be eased by covering them with blanket or water as means of first aid.
- Cold temperature burns can be soothed by warming the area. The areas of the body which are frozen can be warmed by blowing warm air, or wrapping them in warm clothes or putting them in warm water.
- Running cool tap water over the liquid burn is an excellent first aid as it can give temporary relief from the pain. Never use ice for it.
- Burns caused by hot plastic can be cooled by running cold water over it.
- In case of electrical burns, after the person has separated from the source immediately check the breathing and the heartbeat. If the person is not breathing or the heartbeat is not audible call for emergency medical attention.
- Remove the jewelry or clothing at the site of the burn, as the jewelry may be difficult to remove after the area is swelled up.
Home Remedies To Ease Burns at Home
Mild burns can be eased at home with simple home remedies. They may take, a week or two to heal completely, but would not cause scarring. The main aim of these remedies is to ease pain, prevent infection and hasten the healing.
Honey helps in disinfecting the wounds and healing the burns as it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a useful home remedy to ease the burns at home. It can be applied topically to heal a minor burn. A research found out the benefit of honey when applied on the burn(1).
Black tea bags help to draw heat out of burns and reduce pains making it an effective home remedy to ease the burns. Just wet the bags freeze them and apply directly on burns.
Black tea contains tannic acid which helps in drawing out heat from the burns, making them less painful.
The anti-inflammatory property of aloe vera makes it very useful home remedy in treating many wounds. A study suggests aloe vera can be used to treat first and second-degree burns(2, 3).
Pure aloe vera gel can be extracted from the leaf of the aloe vera plant and applied on the affected area.
Coconut has an excellent skin healing property. It contains vitamin E and fatty acids which are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and prevents the burn from getting infected.
Mixed with lemon juice it can help remove the mark left by the burn.
Mint toothpaste helps in reducing the pain and soothes the area which is burnt.
Immediately after a burn, wash the area with cold water and apply the toothpaste. The burning sensation will ease in a few minutes.
Make a paste of baking soda by mixing water to it. Apply it directly on the affected area. Leave the paste for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.
Milk contains zinc and protein which can help soothe and heal the burns faster(5).
Soak cotton balls in refrigerated milk and apply on the burn. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and wash off with water thereafter. Repeat it for a couple of hours until the pain and burning eases.
Visit a doctor
Visit a doctor so that he can evaluate the burns. Cover the burns with a clean dry cloth to reduce the risk of infection. Remove any medicine if applied so that the doctor assesses the burn properly.
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