A burn is damage to the skin caused by heat.
It can come from dry heat such as a hot iron or wet such as boiling water or steam.
Depending on the severity of the injury, it is sometimes possible to treat it yourself.
So let’s see what are the ways to relieve a burn and how to treat it without leaving a scar.
How to treat a severe burn?
We are talking about superficial burns. It is therefore a matter of being vigilant and not neglecting injuries that imperatively require medical advice such as:
– an electrocution
– a chemical burn
– a deep and extensive burn
– a burn with white or charred skin
– a burn of the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals
What is a first degree burn?
First degree burns are very common.
Unlike the second and third degree, they only involve the surface layer of the skin.
Most of the time, they are the result of an accident with a curling iron, hair straightener or cooking utensil.
The sunburn is also a first degree burn.
Burn sign and symptoms
Symptoms of a first degree burn are pronounced redness of the skin, pain, tenderness, and slight swelling.
Blisters only occur with a second degree burn.
How to treat a superficial burn?
A burn should be treated quickly to limit damage to the skin.
The priority of course is to stop what is causing the accident.
As soon as the cause is controlled, it is important to remove clothing and jewelry located near the injury.
On the other hand, if this same item of clothing or jewelry is caught in the burn, prefer not to touch it so as not to aggravate the wound.
Cool the skin very quickly with cold or lukewarm water to soothe the area and numb the pain.
The most effective way to reduce pain is to run to place the limb under a faucet and stay there for about 20 minutes.
You can also apply wet and cold compresses until noticeable reduction in pain.
What not to do if you burn yourself?
To avoid aggravating both the lesions and the pain, you should avoid:
– ice water
– topical antibiotics
The myth is that these substances can provide relief when they can damage tissue and trigger infection.
Aftermath of a burns
After the person has cooled the burn, he should be warmed with a blanket but not covering the burned areas.
This is to avoid any hypothermia – the body temperature dropping to 95°F (35°C) – which can occur after being under cold water for a long time.
Afterwards, it may be a good idea to cover the affected limb with plastic wrap or a sterile bandage.
If a blister does form, avoid touching it, do not puncture it, allow it to heal spontaneously and cover it with a bandage.
Also avoid sun exposure to minimize the risk of scarring since a burn can heal for weeks.
A shallow burn usually heals within a week.
The pain from a burn is very severe.
It can be relieved by taking paracetamol or ibuprofen for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Generally, doctors say that first degree burns heal on their own without special treatment.
You can still apply petroleum jelly 2 or 3 times a day so that the area does not dry out.
Even a superficial burn can very quickly be complicated by a state of shock, exhaustion, infection, formation of a scar.
Do not hesitate to see a doctor immediately if you experience breathing problems or chest pain following your accident.
The depth of burn injury
The diagnosis of a burn is based on an assessment in degrees.
- First degree burn : The burn is minor and the damage is superficial.
Symptoms are redness, altered sensation and pain.
- 2nd degree burn : There are two kinds of second degree burns: superficial and deep.
Each is very painful and form blisters.
Its treatment is identical to the first degree but if blisters appear or the skin is severely damaged, topical antibiotic treatment should be initiated.
The wound should remain covered and should not dry out so as not to slow healing.
A second-degree burn heals in 4 to 6 weeks.
- Third degree burn : the burn affects all layers of the epidermis, capillaries and nerves of the affected area.
It doesn’t hurt as much as a superficial burn and the skin takes on a white leathery appearance.
Its treatment is surgical. A skin graft should be considered to repair the area.
Healing is very slow, measured in months and years, and requires constant care.
- 4th degree burn : this is an extreme burn.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue are destroyed with further damage to muscles and bones, sometimes even organs.
The prognosis is often life threatening.
What are home remedies for minor burns?
There are many methods available on the net to treat a burn.
Some have no effect and can make the situation worse. Be careful !
– Aloe Vera burn
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties which may help to de-swelling the burnt area.
In addition, its antibacterial action helps prevent infection.
– Apple cider vinegar burn skin
The vinegar contains acetic acid which gives it anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts and apply this solution to the burn twice a day.
Since the vinegar is volatile, allow the liquid to evaporate.
– Baking soda skin burn
By restoring the skin’s PH and preventing infection, baking soda helps with wound healing.
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water to create a paste.
Apply it to the burn and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
– Honey on burn
Like aloe vera, honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Apply it to the wound to soothe the pain while protecting the skin from infections.
Honey – and especially manuka honey – is a natural treatment widely used in hospitals to accelerate tissue regeneration.
Essential oil and burns
– Burn Lavender oil
In general, essential oils are not indicated for treating burns.
However, some hospitals recommend the use of lavender essential oil.
Indeed, this oil is analgesic and its compounds help in healing.
– Tea Tree essential oil
Like lavender oil, tea tree can help treat a burn.
Tea tree essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Consider diluting essential oils in a vegetable oil like olive oil to avoid irritation.
How to treat scars from burn?
After two or three days where the burn remains under an occlusive dressing to prevent infection, you may consider applying certain products to help with healing without scar.
Silicone scar gel
Silicone gel is ideal for treating scars.
Its action is to reduce redness, flatten the burn to make it even and relieve itching associated with scarring.
The Ordinary zinc serum is a formula of niacinamide, one of the forms of vitamin B3, and zinc.
Vitamin B3 helps strengthen the skin’s immunity and maintain hydration when zinc repairs damaged skin and promotes collagen production.
The Ordinary retinol serum is also indicated not to keep an obvious burn mark.
Retinol is a potent form of vitamin A that improves cell turnover while attacking skin blemishes.
While exceptionally effective in treating all kinds of scars, consider that retinol tends to irritate the skin when applied without affecting its action.
If you find it too irritating, minimize and space the apps.
Note that there are several strengths (0.2, 0.5, 1%) in this brand.
Treatment for burns can be done at home only if the injury is superficial and does not get complicated.
A first and second degree burn can be treated by quickly immersing the affected area in cold water for about twenty minutes.
It then covers with a plastic band or sterile gauze so that the wound is safe from bacteria.
These are the first aid measures to soothe the pain and avoid complications.
Subsequently, some selected natural remedies can be applied to reduce the risk of infection and speed healing.
The third step is then to ensure that the healing is optimal so as not to keep a too white and too visible scar throughout your life.
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