How to Apply First Aid for Burns

The skin is the primary protection of humans from the surroundings.  And so, it is the first to be affected by the numerous stimuli and other irritants that the body encounters every second of the day.  Unfortunately, it is almost always exposed to potential dangers.  The most common form of injury that the skin can contract is the burn.  The burn is any damage to your tissues, more commonly the skin, that can be caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, or even radiation.  When the skin is subjected to this, the first thing to do is to stay calm and do the proper first aid before calling professional attention, if necessary.

Step 1:  Assess the affected area for the extent of the burn.  Burns are classified into three degrees, and your first aid solutions will be based on the degree of the burn.

The first degree burn is the mildest form that affects only the topmost layer of the skin.  The skin would be dry, reddish, a bit painful, and with only minor swelling.  On the other hand, the second degree burn involves the skin tissues beneath the topmost layer.  The skin would have blisters, appears redder, and and sometimes would even break open.  This is quite painful.  The most serious of all is the third degree burn, which involves all the layers of the skin, the muscles beneath it, and sometimes, even the bones.  The injured may feel little pain or even numb in the area because of severe nerve damage. The skin will be dry and may appear, waxy white, leathery brown, or charred.

Step 2:  Clean the affected area.  Pour clean and cool water, not too cold or iced, or any harmless liquid on the area.  This will prevent infections and ease the pain.  Just be careful not to cause more damage while doing it.  You may put sterile gauze after cleaning it.

Warning:  Do not use just any ointment, lotion, and the like immediately.  This above mentioned step is only applicable for minor burns, or those that are limited to the skin.  Third degree burns need immediate professional attention.  For those kinds of burns, don’t do anything about it, just cover it with a clean towel and rush the victim into the hospital immediately.

Just like any other injury, burns can cause more severe consequences if not treated properly.  But with proper first aid for the injury, they can heal in no time.

Photo Credit : vetcw3

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  1. Before doing anything, it is important to assess the damage done by the burn. Is it deep? If knowledgeable enough to determine how much damage has been done, proceed to prepare necessary treatments so as to avoid making the burn worse. Avoid applying anything on it as the exposed skin would get irritated, wait until it completely heals before putting anything. If the burn turns out to be worse than expected and flesh can be seen, this can be signs of a second or third-degree burn, in this case, immediately seek professional attention.

  2. If it is only a first degree burn, you may apply aloe vera cream to soothe the burn. Silver Sulfide is also very effective to use on mild burns. Silver sulfide is also used in diaper rash creams. Cold water is helpful when used IMMEDIATELY, but sometimes, wetting the burn can cause it to blister and become filled with water. When this blister bursts, it will result further damage to the skin and can be prone to infection. Make sure that when the skin blistered, never burst it. Just wait until the water drain by itself. This way, your skin will not be ruptured which can cause more pain and irritation. Third degree burns on the other hand, must be attended to by a medical professional. Third-degree burns can result in shock which can lead to death.

  3. potrish78 says:

    If it is just a first degree burn, cool the burned area with running water for several minutes. Then apply burn ointment. Ointments with Bacitracin will do. Normally, first degree burns heal on its own without a medical attention.

    If it is a minor second degree burn, immediately submerge the affected area in a cold water for 5 minutes. Please make sure you have cleaned your hands before treating burns. Then treat the area with a burn ointment. If there’s a blister, leave them as is. Do not prick them! Monitor for wound infection. But I do suggest you seek medical help at this stage.

    If it’s a third degree burn, there’s really no first aid for this. But please do not panic. Immediately seek medical assistance.

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