Skip to content

How to Treat a Burn

Burn

Overview

Burns are skin injuries that can occur for a variety of reasons from sunburn, chemicals, hot ( Boiling ) water to electricity. Burns are caused usually by children and very common incidents happen at home. 

When the burn happens the cells in the area die based on the severity of the burn. 

Burns, most of the time, don’t require immediate medical attention since they can be treated at home with accurate treatment methods. However, the degree of skin burn will be a determinant factor as to whether the patient can be treated at home.

Skin burns are split up into 3 categories namely; first, second and third-degree burns. If the patient has a third-degree burn, he/she has to be referred to the hospital immediately. Therefore, down in the article, we will be talking about first and second-degree burns treatment.

 

3 Primary Types of Burns 


First-Degree 

Among other types of burns, this one is the most common one. The damaged part of the skin in first-degree burns is the top layer of skin. First-degree burns are the mildest ones and don’t require ( broadly speaking ) medical treatment. With accurate methods, the burn can be treated at home. 

Having said that, this type of burn can be painful too. First-degree burns occur at home, generally after touching hot objects by accident. Sunburns are categorised as first degree burns too, if not severe. 

 

Second-Degree 

As a matter of course, second-degree burns cause more damage to the skin relative to first-degree burns. The damage is slight in the first-degree burns.

As for the second-degree; the damage goes deeper and causes blisters. Second-degree burns can be treated at home as well as first-degree ones. 

Nevertheless, my personal opinion would be in favour of going to the hospital for better treatment for second-degree burns. Additionally, it is possible that second-degree burns can get infected. Therefore, the wound should be monitored closely in case of an infection. In general, the wound recovers in 2 to 3 weeks. 

 

Third-Degree

If we don’t count fourth-degree burns, third-degree burns are the worst. A third-degree burn is also known as a ” Full-thickness burn “. These types of burns are strong enough to destroy two skin layers ( epidermis and dermis ). Additionally, Third-degree burns can cause many complications, if not treated right away.

One might think that third-degree burns are the most painful. Surprisingly, it is not accurate. The patient would not feel any pain in the severely burnt area, despite the fact that inner and outer skin layers have been damaged. This situation is attributed to the fact that completely destroyed nerves inhibit the pain. 

Owing to the above-mentioned reasons, we will not be talking about the treatment of third-degree burns at home.

No one should try to heal this type of burn with home remedies. As soon as the incident happens, the local emergency number must be called.

 

How to Treat a Burn?


Applying ice or toothpaste or putting some yoghurt on the burnt skin is among the things that occur to many of us in case of a burn. In fact, these applications make the situation worse.

Dermatologists (skin doctors) warn all of us not to apply things, which are thought to be conducive after a burn, such as toothpaste, yoghurt, or hand face cream on the burnt area. They say these hearsay treatment methods make the situation worse.

Cool Down The Burn

According to dermatologists; the first thing we should do is to wash the burnt area for approximately 15 minutes in order to cool it down. In doing so, we would prevent the burn goes deeper and additionally would reduce the pain. Please note that the water should not be too cold !!

Do not Pop the Blisters!

Blisters, as mentioned in the second-degree burns, can form around or on the burnt area. These blisters should never be popped just because the blisters- rich in protein- are produced by the body in order to heal the burn. By the way, first-degree burns can cause blisters too.

Do not apply Ice!

Another myth is applying ice to the burn. Even though it seems plausible, this method may also worsen the situation by bringing about further tissue damage. The burnt area should be kept under cool running water for as long as possible.

Even cold water may harm the skin. Therefore, it is important to remind once again that applying cold water or ice to the burn brings about unwelcome situations. Lukewarm running water would help. 

Aloe Vera 

Inside the article, we have talked about the possible occurrence of certain infections and complications after a burn. 

 Aloe Vera can be a protective measure against these complications with its anti-inflammatory feature. Additionally, aloe vera is a spectacular plant for human skin in terms of beauty and skin protection. 

The evidence supports that Aloe vera is an effective material in terms of treating-healing a burn. Nonetheless, the same study is highlighting the efficacy of aloe vera for only first and second-degree burns. 

An Aloe Vera gel purchased from a supermarket may contain some unnatural ingredients. Therefore, applying the totally natural aloe vera gel to the burn would help the wound to heal.

Avoid Sun Exposure!

After a skin burn, there can be an alteration in the amount of melanin, that determines the skin -eyes- and hair colour, in the damaged area.

Even though the wound heals after a burn, the damaged area remains fragile and sensitive in the following days and even months. In this parallel, protecting the burnt skin from direct sun exposure consolidates the long-term full recovery. 

Covering the burnt part of the skin with a suitable cloth, spending time in the shade and wearing full protective sunscreen helps to get rid of the scar.

Let’s not forget that even 10 minutes of sun exposure on a hot summer day is strong enough to burn the human skin. For this reason, sun exposure should be avoided until the full recovery takes place. 

Note : 

Earlier in the article, it has been said that first-degree burns can be treated at home since they are shallow. However, doctors are warning about the spread of the burn.

In the case the affected area is large and the victim is a child or elderly person, then the treatment should be carried out by a doctor regardless of the burn’s degree. 

In addition to this, being exposed to sunlight in the recovery period, skin type skin colour, the depth of the burn and so forth. factors will be determinant factors as to whether or not the burn mark will be visible in the future.