How to treat a burn
If you’ve ever had a burn, you know how painful it can be. Burns are a common injury that can happen in many ways, for example from touching a hot oven or stovetop or by an open flame of a candle or fireplace. During the busy holy celebrations going on around the world burns are bound to happen. Knowing what to do when someone gets burned is important and can help prevent scarring and infection. Use the following tips on how to treat a burn.
Cool the burn as quickly as possible.
The best way to cool a burn is with cool water or clean, cool cloths. Do not use ice or ice packs because they can cause further damage. A person who has been burned should also avoid using solvents such as alcohol or gasoline on the area of their body that was burned because these substances can be absorbed through the skin and cause more harm than good. Butter or other greasy substances should not be applied to burns either–they trap heat inside your body instead of letting it escape into the air around you!
To help prevent infection, wash your hands before touching your face and try not to cough, sneeze or blow your nose unless necessary (and then use a tissue).
Get away from any heat source. Cool water is best to use, not ice or butter. Do not rub the burn. Do not apply oil or ointment on top of a burn either–if you think you need something like aloe vera, wait until the pain is gone. Aloe Vera has no cooling properties, it’s meant as a anti-inflammatory (reduce swelling) and moisturizer. And don’t bandage anything up: just let it breathe!
Do not open blisters.
Blisters are a natural part of the healing process. Blisters protect the skin below and reduce the chance of infection. They do not need to be opened, and should be left alone for up to 10 days. If blisters do break watch for infection and hydrate.
Protect the burned area with a sterile bandage or clean cloth.
- Protect the burned area with a sterile bandage or clean cloth.
- Do not use butter or grease, ice or ice packs, alcohol, vinegar or other home remedies. These can cause more damage to your skin and delay healing time.
- Do not make the dressing too tight so that it cuts off circulation to the area under it (this would make you lose feeling in that part of your body).
If pain persists, seek medical attention
When pain persists after treating a burn, see a doctor right away. Burns that are large or deep and/or on your face, hands or feet, seek medical attention.
Burns are a common injury and easy to treat although dangerous if not treated properly. When burns don’t heal properly they can cause life long scarring and even mobility issues. If you have any questions about how to treat your burn or what to do if one occurs, please contact an experienced medical professional.