Burns are painful and common injuries that happen quite frequently. Most burns do heal fast and easily without the need of any special medical attention. However, there are cases where medical attention may be required. Burns involving all layers of the skin, electrical burns, internal burns and chemical burns are some of the burns that require immediate medical attention. It is important to know the varying degrees and types of burns in order to know when medical attention is required. A severe burn needs to be protected from infections and needs immediate medical attention. Before one embarks on the process of treating a burn, it is best to determine the kind or level of burn that one is dealing with. This is known as the degree of burn.
The material posted on this page on recognizing and managing varying degrees of burns is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns sign up for a first aid and CPR course with one of workplace approved providers.
Degree of Burn
To effectively teat a burn, one has to first determine the degree of burn. The most common burns that occur at home are first degree burns. These can be easily treated with basic equipment. The more complicated burns with greater intensities of heat will require the help of professionals. The first degree burns are what could be considered as minor burns and are easily managed with minor measures.
- A first degree burn is the most superficial burn that occur on the top layer of skin. The skin is usually red accompanied by some swelling.
- A second degree burn has the same components as a first degree burn, however, blisters are present.
- A third degree burn, the most serious burn that requires medical attention, involves all layers of skin and causes permanent tissue damage.
Treating Minor Burns
To treat minor burns, one will need to undertake a simple process that can be done from home.
- Cold water
Running cold water on the burn for ten to fifteen minutes helps cool the burn and stop further damage. When the burning sensation continues it means that the burning is still on. Extremely cold water should be avoided as it only causes further burning.
- Cold compress.
In a case where one is not able to use running water, he can apply a cold compress on the burn. The cold compress is made of ice packs or ice cubes wrapped in a piece of clean cloth. Application of ice directly to the skin can cause damages to it.
One should make a point of taking painkillers so as to help with the pain. The painkillers can be found over the counter and are very effective in pain relieving. If the swelling and pain persists, another dose of the painkiller can be taken. Children however should not be given aspirin.
- Salt solution.
Salt solution should be used to clean the wound on an hourly basis. A single tablespoon of salt with an 8oz cup of warm water makes the perfect solution.
- Burn cream.
The healing of the burn can be made better through the use of some of the best burn creams that one can easily get from the local pharmacist. The cream with aloe Vera has better chances of healing the wound faster. The person can also use aloe Vera gel directly from the plant. This is applied thinly on the burn without rubbing it in.
Remember to seek medical assistance if the mentioned remedies do not seem to work. An unclean wound can get infected and create difficult complications.