How to treat a Burn


Burns are the most common household injury and so everybody seeks for ways and means on how to treat a burn. Burn is a very common injury that could happen anywhere and anytime. It destroys one’s skin that could result to an ugly appearance which could make us insecure. Not only that, but burns also give us excruciating pain.

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Our skin is our outermost protection. Damaged skin tissues lead to malfunction of the protective layer of our body. This would lead to less protection from the direct Ultraviolet rays given off by the sun, less sensations from touch, and even damages the pathway through which sweat or excess fluids from the body pass through. Burns can either be minor or major. Whatever it is, the most important thing to do is to take action to treat it right away before it could lead to further damage.

Determining the Degree of Burn

The first step on how to treat a burn is determining or assessing how grave the burn is. There are three degrees of burns. First degree burns are not very serious types of burns; they usually involve pain and redness on the site of burn. Second degree type of burns can be serious when not given immediate attention. Its trademarks involve redness, blistering and excruciating pain. And lastly, the third degree burns are the most serious type which is characterized by numbness or when the person does not feel any sensation of pain because the three layers of the person’s skin have been burned destroying the nearby nerves in the process. Also check for any blistering and charring and assess the size of the burn. If the affected area is larger than your palm, then call for help immediately.

How to treat a burn?

After the assessment of the degree of burn, it is time to take action. Determining the degree of burn is really important in starting treatment. These are the ways on how to treat a burn depending on the degree of burn the person is suffering from:

Treating  Minor Burns (First Degree Burns Treatment)

o This is how to treat a burn for minor burns. The first thing to do is to immerse the burnt area in cool water and wait for the pain to cease. The cool sensation counteracts with the heat from the burn that causes the pain. However, direct contact with ice is not advisable because this can cause further damage to the skin. Also place a cool cloth on the burn each day if the painful sensation still exists. Minor burns usually take 3-6 days to heal.

o Expose the burn to natural condition. Do not put any bandages as it will only cause further delay in the healing process and at the same time cause possible infections.

o To ease the pain, take any common over-the-counter pain relievers.

o Finally, occasionally check the burn for any signs of infection like blisters that are caused by exposure to dirt.

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Treatment For Moderate Burns (Second Degree Burns)

o This is how to treat a burn on a moderate or a second degree level. Run cool water on the affected area for at least 15 minutes. If there is no running water within the vicinity, dip a washcloth in cool water and apply it gently on the surface of the affected area.

o The use of honey, butter or aloe on the burned area is prohibited. This would cause for the burn to be infected.

o If the affected area or the burned area is huge or is located at a sensitive part of the body like the eyes or the genitals, immediately call an emergency hotline and seek medical treatment.

o Finally, when the pain ceases, apply antibiotic cream on the burn and wrap it gently with sterile gauze. Apply the cream everyday and make sure to change the bandage daily as well. Second degree burns usually take less than 3 weeks to heal depending on the severity of the burn.

Treatment For Severe Burns (Third Degree Burns)

o Third degree burns are serious types of burns that need medical attention as soon as possible. These burns may be so severe that surgery and skin grafts may be required. A protracted recovery period is also a necessity. A skin graft is a process wherein a thin layer of skin is cut from an unburned area and transferred to the burned area so it could regenerate through time. Cases such as these usually take more than 3 weeks to heal. Read more about treatment for third degree burns.

Important Things to Remember on How to Treat a Burn

Now that you have some ideas on the basic things on how to treat a burn, these are now the things one must not forget when treating burns.

• Never place an ice directly on the affected area. This would cause one to have frostbite adding more injury to the damage.

• For third degree burns, it is best to seek for medical attention as soon as possible. Don’t try to treat the burn yourself, instead, while waiting for the medical team to arrive, immerse the burn in cool water for the mean time or cool it down with the use of a damp cool cloth.

• If the burns show blisters, do not attempt to pop it for it could cause further infection.

• Never apply butter and oil on the burns.

• If the injured individual experiences hypothermia, meaning dizziness, weakness, fever and sweating, call a physician.

• If the clothes or any clothing is sticking near the burned area, do not attempt to remove it for it might cause bleeding or pain to the victim.

• Make sure that the patient is not surrounded by any more smoke or heat nearby.

• And finally, if the burn is severe, do not immediately place cold water over the burn as this will cause shock. Instead, elevate the burned parts slowly above the heat level until it is normalized.

It is known that burn is the most common injury experienced by many in the past, in the present, and most probably in the future. That is why it is very essential for one to know the basics on how to treat a burn.

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent topic and knowledge. Everyone should know the steps of treating burns especially those with children

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