Burns – treatment and prevention

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1. Overview

Skin of a person can suffer burns from various causes.

The frequency-common are accidents involving direct contact with hot liquids or objects, chemicals, steam, electricity, heat or prolonged exposure to sunlight.


1. Overview
2. Treatment depending on the type of burns
3. How can minor burns be treated at home?
4. Treatment of major burns

2. Treatment depending on the type of burns

- First-degree burns – are the easiest type of burn that a person may experience and involves damage to the outer layer of skin, the epidermis. Your skin will be reddened, painful and swollen. If first-degree burn has not affected a large area of skin, it can be treated at home.

- Second-degree burns – are those which have injured the second layer of skin (hypodermis). If there was this kind of burns, skin will present red spots and vesicles. Second-degree burn causes pain and inflammation.

If a person will experience a small second-degree burn, he can treat it at home, but if that portion is burned or involve extensive areas like hands, feet, the face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, the injured person must seek professional assistance and care.

- Third-degree burns – involve all layers of the skin and it may also include the structures localized under the skin. Some areas are often black and charred. It may manifest severe pain, but if a nerve has been damaged due to burning, pain likely to be diminished or not present. All third degree burns require immediate medical care.

3. How can minor burns be treated at home?

1. The first step to treat a minor burn is to keep the burned area under cold running water between 10 and 15 minutes. If this this is not possible, you must apply a compress of cold water. Do not put ice directly on the affected skin because it can cause frostbite and injuries.

2. Do not apply butter on burns. Butter will trap heat in the damaged tissue and its effects will aggravate the situation and increase the risk of developing infections.

3. After the area has cooled as a result of maintaining it under cold water jet, apply a special cream on the burn. Lotion will relieve discomfort and prevent skin drying.

4. Once the burned skin will be hydrated, will be covered with a sterile gauze bandage. It is important not to place it too tightly on the wound.

5. On the burned area will appear blisters filled with fluid, which are designed to prevent infection and that will heal by themself. If, however, the blisters break, wash skin with soap and water, dry it and then apply over it an antibiotic ointment that will wrap the sterile gauze bandage.

6. If necessary, use acetaminophen or other painkillers when the pain is too sharp.

4. Treatment of major burns

1. For the treatment of major burns, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

2. The cause of the accident should be eliminated, but should not remove burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin.

3. Until you receive emergency medical treatment will cover the burn with a dry, sterile bandage or a clean piece of cloth. You can use a cotton bed sheet for larger areas. Do not use blankets or towels because both have a tendency to stick to burns.

4. Do not apply ointments and will try not to break the blisters.



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