Burns are a fairly common household injury, usually sustained during cooking or when a hot drink spills onto you. Responding the right way to a sudden burn can help to reduce the damage and help you recover faster. In serious cases, responding to a bad burn the right way might even save your life.
Sometimes You Just Have To Seek Help
Most burns can be treated at home effectively, but it's important to seek professional medical care for the severest cases. If someone suffers a burn that covers a large area of the body, it's important to seek help right away. Large burns heal much more slowly than smaller ones, and they pose a greater risk of infection as a result.
You should also be able to tell the difference between first, second, and third degree burns. First degree burns redden the skin, while second degree ones can cause it to blister. Third degree burns typically whiten or darken skin and make it appear more leathery. If you aren't sure whether a burn is severe enough to be third degree, it's best to seek medical attention just in case.
Your First Reaction Should Be Dissipating The Heat
In the moment when a hot object or liquid touches your skin, heat is transferred to your body. Removing the offending object or liquid and dissipating this transferred heat is therefore the most important first step in controlling how much damage a burn does to someone. You need to get the affected area away from the heat source and under cool, running water as soon as possible.
For larger mild burns and especially for scalding due to spills, a cold shower is recommended to soothe the entire area of the burn. This also provides a good opportunity to clean the affected area with antibacterial soap, which will help prevent infection.
Avoid any putting anything on the burn aside from water and antibacterial burn ointment, as these may actually cause worse damage or lead to infection. Especially risky are home remedies that include food, such as mayonnaise, butter, or oil. These can attract bacteria to the site.
A Cold Burn Is A Painless Burn
Much of the pain from burns comes from the inflammation that takes place as they heal. Burned skin may feel hot to the touch and may be painful at room temperature or when exposed to warmth.
Treatment for recovering from burns is uncomplicated: keep the area as cold as possible for as long as possible until the pain goes away. Low temperatures help your body deal with inflammation quickly and can also offer you a temporary respite from the burning sensation. Once you no longer need to ice your burn to deal with the pain, it's a good sign that the inflammation will be one its way out. Burns shouldn't hurt more than a couple of days after they occur, so seek medical attention if you experience ongoing pain or swelling.
If you have an emergency, visit an urgent care center like 24 Hour Urgent Care of the Desert.