Ouch! How to Treat a Burn
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Published by TOP4 Team
Burns are the result of direct contact with a hot object, while scalds are produced by hot fluids or steam. Both damage the skin’s tissues, causing blisters or charred skin, and should be treated the same way.
There are major distinctions between first-, second-, and third-degree burns. Only first-degree burns and scalds should be treated at home. For more serious burns, see a doctor immediately. First-degree burns are characterized by reddened, painful skin but can be treated effectively with natural remedies (assuming you don’t have an open wound).
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR
More serious burns (blisters start forming with second-degree burns), large or deep burns and all chemical and electrical burns require medical attention. People who may be at greater risk from the effects of burns - such as children, pregnant woman or anyone aged over 60 – should also see a health-care professional immediately. Second- and third-degree burns that cause blistering and tissue damage are serious, with a high risk of infection caused by germs entering the body through the damaged skin.
- To cool skin, reduce the pain and clean the wound, hold the affected part under cold running water (not ice water) for at least 30 minutes.
- Apply calendula salve to the burn if the skin is unbroken. It soothes and can help damaged skin to heal more quickly.
- Take vitamin C to build and maintain new skin.
- Squeeze a few drops of the juice from a cut piece of an aloe vera plant onto the burn. It will help to soothe it and prevent infection.
- Apply fresh sauerkraut, a traditional German burn remedy rich in vitamin C, directly to the burn.
- For healing without scars, pour 1.5 litres of water over 1 tablespoon of linseeds (flaxseeds). Boil until scum forms on the surface, strain and leave to cool. Soak a linen cloth in the liquid, wring out and apply.
GOOD TO KNOW
You can’t heed every home remedy from your grandmother’s time – some of them can actually be harmful. For example, never treat burns or scalds with butter, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, under no circumstances should you pierce or burst blisters, as there’s a danger of infection.
Burns can lead to serious complications if not addressed correctly. Make sure to seek medical attention from a trusted medical professional in case of burns especially in large areas.