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How to deal with a burn

Getting a burn, whether it is mild of or severe is a very common occurrence, especially in women who work in the kitchen. Most first and second degree burns can be easily treated at home with the help of certain simple and natural remedies. However, it is also important to assess the degree of the burn and seek medical attention in case the burn is very severe.

Administer first aid

The first thing to do when you get a burn is to assess the burn and administer first aid as burns can easily develop into blisters and get infected if left untreated. To prevent blister formation on the burn, you must promptly cool the area showing the burnt area under flowing water. Continue this for a few minutes until the area has cooled adequately. If it is a mild burn, this will prevent blisters from forming and burn marks from developing. Showing the burn over cool water will also numb the burnt area and prevent pain from setting in. Place a cold compress on the burn if it is hurting too much. This has to be done after placing a paper towel on the burn as ice might further hurt the damaged skin.

Herbal treatments

A number of herbal remedies can be administered after the first aid. These remedies help in preventing an infection and helping the skin regenerate without scar formation. Aloe vera is the best natural burn cream that can be applied directly on the burnt skin. Aloe has cooling, soothing, healing and skin regenerative properties. You can also try turmeric or honey in the absence of aloe vera. For burns that are smaller, application of salt, vinegar or tea bags too can help heal the wound faster and prevent blister formation and infection. Applying any of these natural healing agents will help in keeping the burnt skin well protected from bacteria and blister formations. Within a couple of days, wound will start healing.

Dressing of the burnt skin

It is very important to keep the burnt area clean and well covered. This will help in preventing dust and other pollutants from settling on the surface and also bacteria from entering the open wound. Burnt skin might be a little painful to wash. But it is imperative that you wash the area after every dressing, preferably with mild herbal soap. This will remove all the scabs and dead cells that get accumulated on the surface when the healing process starts. Cleaning will also prevent scar formation and aid faster healing. Cover with a clean bandage. If you prefer a natural method of covering your burnt skin, you may try potato peel which can be used as a bandage. Wash the potato thoroughly and boil it. Gently peel off the skin and place it over the burn. Potato peel will help in keeping the burnt area well moisturized and prevent itching and irritation due to dryness. Place a new peel every 2 hours or when you feel that the potato peel has become dry.

Pain control

If the pain is particularly bad, you may want to try a pain reliever. An over the counter medication like ibuprofen or aspirin can be used in such cases. This will keep the pain under control. At this point it has to be determined how serious the burn is. If the burn is very serious and big, the patient will not feel any pain. This could be a third degree burn when all the layers of the skin and sometimes the fat, bone and muscles, numbing all your sensations of pain. If this is the case, immediate medical attention is recommended as the patient may not recover with just first aid administered at home.

Seek medical attention

Administration of first aid is good in most cases of first and second degree burns. Beyond that, the wound might be too deep to be treated at home and you might even aggravate the burnt area if you try to place a bandage over a third degree burn. If the burn goes beyond blister formations and is of a third degree in nature, do not even attempt to immerse the skin under cold water as this can lead to shock. Call for medical help immediately and monitor the patient’s pulse and if necessary, you must also administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Cover the burn with a moist and sterile cloth. Do not in any case use gauze as the thread might get stuck on to the burnt area, making removal difficult and causing more damage.

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