Burns are painful whether they are mild or severe. Regardless, the severity of a burn decides whether it should be treated at home or whether you have to rush to the hospital. If a burn injury is mild, it can be treated at home. Burns are categorized in 4 different ways depending on their severity: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, third-degree burns and fourth-degree burns.
A first-degree burn is least severe because it only affects the outer layer of skin, causing mild pain, swelling and redness. Second-degree burns damage the deeper layers of skin and cause wet, white and shiny skin. Third- and fourth-degree burns are very severe. These burns damage all the layers of the skin and are considered medical emergencies. Therefore, they must be treated only in a hospital. Burns caused by gas explosions, electricity, and chemicals are severe. In case of burns caused by a gas explosion, electrical current, or chemical exposure in the workplace, you must rush to a hospital. Once you are treated, you should contact a burn injury lawyer to help you get financial compensation for chemical burns, gas explosion burns, etc. This is because third and fourth degree burn treatment is expensive.
Mild burns usually will not scar and are completely healed within a week or two depending upon the patient’s health and immunity. First and second-degree burns which are less than 3 inches in diameter can be treated at home. The aim of burn treatment is to lessen pain and avoid infections. Here are some remedies that are best for treating minor burns and healing skin, safely and effectively.
Place the Burn Under Cool Water
This is the first step which one should follow: in case of a mild burn, place the burned area under running cool (not cold) water for about 20 minutes. It will help to cool the skin down, sooth the burn, and prevent further injuries which could worsen or damage the deeper layers of skin. After 20 minutes under cool water, clean the wound thoroughly using mild antibacterial soap. Don’t scrub. Cleaning the burn gently will prevent further infection.
Use Cool Compresses or Wet Cloth
After running water and cleaning the burn thoroughly, you can use a cool compress or a clean wet cloth over the burn area in 5 to 15-minute intervals. It will help in easing the pain and swelling. Make sure not to use extremely cold compresses as they may worsen the burn more.
Antibiotic Ointments and Creams
If a burn has open blisters, it is necessary to apply antibiotic ointments and creams to prevent infections. They help the burn to heal faster. After using an antibiotic cream, cover the exposed blisters with a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth to protect the wound from infection.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is often referred to as the” burn plant”, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory, and promotes good circulation. It also has antibacterial properties that prevent the growth of bacteria. It is also a prevalent ingredient in many creams, moisturisers, sunscreens. It also comes in the gel, which is an excellent remedy for treating first-degree burns and healing wounds. You can also apply a layer of pure aloe vera gel to the affected area. The gel is extracted directly from an aloe vera plant’s leaf. If you are buying from a store, make sure it has a high content of aloe vera and avoid products that have additives, colours and scent.
According to recent studies and findings, honey has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. If applied to a burn, it can provide clinical benefits and help to heal mild and minor burns. Some studies say that if anyone applies honey to a bandage and then places it over the scorched area, it may help to sterilise the wounded area and prevent infection. It can also pacify the burned skin and ease the pain to an extent. However, studies are still ongoing, so you should try applying honey only if you have a mild first-degree burn.
Stay Out of The Sun
In case of a burn, it is better to stay out of the sun, as exposure to sunlight can make your skin more sensitive. The irritation of the skin due to sunlight can worsen the burn injury. It is advisable to stay indoors or work in the shade. Do your best to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. If preventing the sunlight is not possible, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the scorched skin.
Stay safe and handle things safely around you so that you can avoid burn injuries or any other accidents. While first-degree burns can be healed at home with proper care, it is better to contact your doctor if you notice any signs of infection. If the burn is severe then proper medical care is a must.