How to Treat a Burn
Overview of Burn Treatment Steps
The severity of the burn which includes the depth of the burn, along with the size is going to dictate whether to see a doctor or to call emergency medical professionals (911). However, if you have a burn, then these steps should be followed, no matter how severe or not this is:
- Run cool water over the area of the burn for several minutes
- If the burn is severe call 911
- Utilize a spray or ointment that is for pain associated with burns
- Utilize over the counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief if needed
Instructions in Detail
Running Cool Water over the Burn Area
If you have a burn you are going to want to let the cool water run over the burn, rather than applying pressure with the water. Small burns can often use tap water from the sink, while those who have had bigger burns have used a water hose from outside. You do not want to use ice in order to cool the burn as ice can cause frostbite to the burn. If you call an ambulance, do not stop cooling the burn with water until the paramedics arrive.
When to Call 911
Calling 911 for burns should be immediate if you notice that the skin is becoming black or there is blistering on the skin. Call 911 if the burn is found on:
- The face
- Around the arm, leg, ankle or wrist
- Covering the majority of the feet or hands
- On any area of the body when it is covering more than the size of your chest
You are always the best judge as to whether you need 911. So do not be afraid to call if your burn does not meet these standards.
Using topical ointments or sprays to reduce pain
You can utilize whatever type of ointment you need to use, as long as this is water soluble. You should also never pop the blisters. You can also use cool water to help with the pain. Never apply butter or oil to the burn! Though this may feel cool at first, the oils are actually going to trap more heat in the burn and will eventually make this even worse.
Using pain relief medications
You can utilize over the counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain. If this does not help to stop the pain, then a visit to the doctor may be needed to find other methods of dealing with this.
Tips to Remember:
Burns are going to destroy the skin and this can lead to infection, dehydration and hypothermia. If you or someone is experiencing:
- Cold sweats
Then is it time to seek medical help as this could be something even more serious.
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