This article was written by our member, Roy Shor, Roy has years of experience as a paramedic and he will explain about treating skin burns at home, the different burn degrees, how to identify them, and more.
The meaning of Burning
Burning is one of the most common domestic injuries, and almost every person burns at least once in his life. Burns are common during kitchen work while working on your vehicle and even as a result of showers or exposure to the sun so it is very useful to be aware of the different treatment methods after burning.
Burning is a form of injury that affects the body tissue mainly caused by heat, corrosive substances, or friction. There is another type of burn, known as scald; this results from exposure to hot water or steam.
It is important to treat skin burns on time and there are great products by brands like Burnshield, Rapid Care, Burn Free, and more that also provides complete first aid kits for burns which are not expensive and can be a great help in case of someone just got a skin burn and needs immediate care.
Signs and Symptoms of burn
Though all these listed signs and symptoms may not be present
- Severe pain
- Red, peeling or blistered skin (or darkened if it is caused by electricity)
- Liquid fluid weeping from the affected area
- The patient may be pale, cold and sweaty, feels weak and dizzy, and complains of nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the damaged area may occur later
Burns have three degrees which are explained below.
First-degree burns: this is the least serious degree of burn. The injury is restricted to the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis, but not all of them are transient. With first-degree burns, the skin is usually red with swelling and sometimes pain. First-degree burns are always considered to be minor burns.
Second-degree burns: The injury is applied to both the first layer of skin known as the epidermis and the other skin layer called dermis. With this type of burn blisters usually, develop. Intense pain and swelling are very common. Second-degree burns can be considered minor burns in the event that they affect less than 15 percent of the body surface, or else they would be viewed as major burns.
The third and fourth degrees of burn: the third and fourth degrees of burn is the most serious form of burn. The wound extends deep into the skin. The affected area appears very dark or extremely white. Because of the destruction of the nerves in this type of burn, the patient usually does not feel pain. This type of burn can be lethal if it is not treated properly. Third-degree burns are still considered to be major burns.
When You Should Get Immediate Medical Attention?
- When there is a significant second-degree burn.
- When there’s third degree of burns.
- When there are burns on your neck or face, regardless of degree.
- If breathing is difficult (smoke may cause serious lung injury).
- If the burn was due to electricity exposure (heart problems are common to such cases).
- If the burn was the result of exposure to chemicals, e.g. acid or alkaline.
Treating Skin Burns At Home Until Medical Care Is Available
First aid for skin burns, 9 steps:
Step 1: Get out fast
To avoid further skin and tissue damage, move away from hot water or fire quickly – the lesser the exposure, the lesser the burn.
Step 2: Expose the burnt skin
It is very important to expose the burn because it gives you a better chance of estimating the type and extent of the burn. Remove the clothing that covers it. In addition, removing clothing that covers burns is essential for the next step.
Step 3: Cool the injured area
- For up to 20 minutes cool the affected area with cool running water from either a tap or shower. If there is no water in the area, you can use any cool clean fluid like soft drinks, beer, etc.
- In the absence of water, a first aid burn gel may be used, provided the gel is enough to cover the burn.
- Carefully remove any clothing that is wet with hot liquid or affected by a chemical splash
- Take away any tight clothing, watches, rings or jewelry from the injured area, if possible, because of the risk of swelling.
Step 4: Position the patient
- If the patient feels weak, lay them down.
- The damaged part (depending on the place of the burn) can be placed in a can of cold water if it is easier than pouring water on the burn.
Step 5 Apply sterile dressing
- After cooling the affected area for 20 minutes, apply a sterile dress.
- Use non- adherent dressing or piece of pure plastic kitchen wrap.
Apply a sterile dressing
- DO NOT break the blisters or remove the peeled skin.
- DO NOT try to remove the tissue that is stuck in the burn.
- DO NOT apply creams, grease, lotions or butter to burns, as infections may appear and complicate the injury.
- DO NOT put small children or babies in a cold bath or shower for 20 minutes as this may cause hypothermia.
- Do not bandage with sticking gauze
One of the common symptoms during burns is adhesion of the bandage to burn. This is especially typical when it comes to “wet” burn, so do not use regular gauze to wear a burn but it is important to use a dedicated gauze, which can be purchased at any pharmacy and very important to be in every home.
Remember that any substance that is to be applied to a burn must be removed later in the hospital and may also delay the healing process. Also, avoid using a band around the skin around the burn, as this may cause other tissue damage.
Step 6: In case it is a 1st-degree burn
Treating Skin Burns At Home – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree burns
If it looks like a 1st-degree burn, the one with red skin but without a blister, you can manage these burns at home if you have any knowledge.
- do not apply a bandage to this type of burn.
- Wash your skin with an antiseptic solution, e.g. Betadine.
- Cover the burn with any pain relieving ointment examples are those containing a local anesthetic, e.g. lidocaine.
- You can take aspirin tablets to reduce pain.
- It takes 4 to 6 days to completely cure.
- Go to a doctor when the blisters set to appear in the burn spot.
Step 7: in case it is a 2nd-degree burn
Treating Skin Burns At Home, 2nd-degree burn
If you see blisters, it is likely to be a 2nd-degree burn. Generally, after you put it under tap water and clean it with antiseptic solutions, do the following.
- Local ointment for pain relief can be used.
- Never break the blisters (for fear of infection).
- Sterile vaseline cloth serves to cover the ankle region (never utilize cotton or regular dressing since it can wind up disciple to the tissue, bringing about more damage when expelled).
- Change the bandage every 1-2 days. But before you put a new bandage; be sure to wash the burn with the water and the antiseptic solution.
- Look for any signs of infection that may overcome the burn site, e.g. fever, unexplained enlargement of the pain at the site of the burn or any abnormal discharge such as pus.
- Do not treat a 2nd-degree burn if it’s located on the face or neck.
- Do not treat a 2nd-degree burn if its size is more than 3cm wide.
Step 8: In a case of third-degree burn
3-4 degree burns are considered more severe burns and are not common during home accidents.
These burns usually include burns caused by chemicals, electric shock or direct fire, and require immediate medical attention.
In these cases, it is important to call the rescue forces immediately and the following actions can be initiated:
- Lifting the damaged parts of the body – It is important to lift the affected part above the heart, in order to reduce fluid loss.
- Covering the affected part – Use special bandages or blankets to cover burns (found in every first aid pocket). If you can not get one, you can use a wet towel.
Like mild burns, improper treatment of severe burns can also cause many damages. In these cases, the following guidelines are important:
- Do not remove the burnt clothes – removing the clothes independently can “tear” the skin and worsen the damage.
- The areas that are severely damaged should not be cooled, as opposed to light burns. In these cases, there is extensive damage to the skin, and uncontrolled cooling can lead to hypothermia.
Step 9: Look for medical care
If it’s the third level, look for immediate care. In case it is the first or the second and worries about it, do not hesitate to consult your physician to make sure everything is fine.
Treating Skin Burns At Home- conclusion
Treating Skin Burns At Home is very important and can prevent unnecessary infections and pain, I truly recommend being prepared and equipped with first aid equipment for burns, It is important to possess quality equipment and I highly recommend Burnsheild’s products for that matter, you can check out here Burnshield’s burn kit on Amazon.
You can also check out our favorite online first aid courses platform here, you can find great online first aid courses for burns and many more situations.
I hope that you have found our article useful.