First Aid for Burns

Types of Burns

To differentiate a minor burn from a severe burn, the first step is to ascertain the extent of harm done to body tissues. The three burn categories of first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn will enable you evaluate emergency care.

First Degree Burn

The slightest burns are those in which only the outer most layer of skin is damaged, but it does not damage any other layer of skin. The skin is usually red, with swelling, and pain sometimes is present. First-degree burn must be treated as a minor burn unless it includes substantial portions of the hands, face, feet, face, groin or back, or a prominent joint, which need emergency medical attention.

Second Degree Burn

When the first layer of skin has been affected and the second layer of skin (dermis) is also burned, this type of burn is called a second-degree burn. Boil is developed and the skin gives intensely reddened, splotchy appearance. Second-degree burns bring acute pain and swelling.

If the second-degree burn is only 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, it can be treated as a minor burn. If the affected area is larger or if the burn is on the feet, hands, groin or face, or over a prominent joint, it can be acknowledged as a major burn and should get medical help immediately.

First Aid for Minor Burns

For minor burns, encompassing first-degree burns and second-degree burns in a restricted area of 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, following first aid burn actions can be taken:

  • Cool The Burn: Place the burned area under cool running water for 10 or 15 minutes or until it stops paining. If this is not feasible, dip the burned part in cool water or soothe it with cold compresses. Cooling the burn alleviates swelling by draining heat away from the skin. Don't apply ice on the burn.

  • Cover The Burn Using Sterile Gauze Bandage: Avoid facilitating fluffy cotton, or other substance that may get stick to the wound. Cover the affected area using gauze to ward off applying pressure on burned skin. Bandaging will not allow the wound to come in contact with air and reduce pain and protect blistered skin.

  • Take An Over-the-counter Pain Reliever: These can encompass aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil etc), naproxen (Aleve) and host of others. Be alert when administering aspirin on children or teenagers. Nonetheless, aspirin is approved for use in children above 2 years of age, children and teenagers recuperating from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms must not take aspirin. Consult your doctor if you have concerns.

Primary burns generally heal without any long treatment. They may heal leaving pigment behind, which means the healed area may display a different color compare to nearby skin color. Watch for signs of infection, such as enhanced pain, swelling, redness, or fever. If infection deteriorates, seek medical assistance immediately. Avoid re-injuring if the burns are not a year old — doing so may lead to more comprehensive pigmentation changes. Apply sunscreen on the burned area for minimum a year.

Cautions for First Aid Burns

Don't Apply Ice: Applying ice directly on the burned area can turn the burned victim's body too cold and may result in more harm to the wound.

Don't Administer Butter or Ointments to the Burn: This may result in infection often severe.

Don't Break Blisters: Puncturing blisters are more vulnerable to infection.

Third Degree Burn

The most serious burns that can occur on all layers of the skin and cause life time tissue damage. Skin, fat, muscle and even bone can often be affected. Areas may become charred black or look dry and white. Trouble in inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or some other toxic harmful effect may be unearthed if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn.

First Aid for Major Burns

If a major burn is witnessed, you should call 911 or emergency medical assistance. Until an emergency unit arrives, follow these steps:

  1. Don't Remove Burned Clothing: However, ensure the victim is not in contact with sticking materials or exposed to heat and smoke.

  2. Don't Submerge Severe Burns in Cold Water:Doing so could lead to a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) and drop of blood pressure and blood circulation (shock).

  3. Check For Signs of Circulation (breathing, coughing or movement):If you don’t find any movement, breathing or other sign of circulation, start CPR.

  4. Raise Burned Body Part: Rise the affected body part above chest level, if possible.

  5. Cover Burned Area: Facilitate cool, moist, clean and sterile gauze, soft cloth; or moist towel.

  6. Get a Tetanus Shot: Burns are prone to tetanus. Doctors suggest you get a tetanus shot in a gap of every 10 years. If your last shot was prior to more than five years ago, your doctor can suggest a tetanus shot booster.

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