Everyone should know how to treat skin burns. Unfortunately, it's one of those things that is bound to happen to all of us at one time or another. Ordinarily we are faced with treating a minor skin burn from a cooking mishap, a soldering gun, or perhaps a heat gun. Treating minor skin burns is relatively easy to do, but it's important to know how to treat more serious skin burns as well in the event you ever find yourself in the situation. Below are some helpful tips that will help you to address and treat skin burns if you or someone you know is accidentally burned. Your skin is one of your most important organs. It helps to prevent us from getting infections, maintaining body temperature and keeps fluids inside the body. Serious skin burns often get infected, disrupt an individual's ability to maintain their body temperature, and allows plasma and fluids to leak from within the body-all bad news.
In order to treat minor skin burns, you will need:
- Clean water
- Sterile gauze bandage
- Over-the-counter pain reliever
Serious burns require emergency medical treatment, so do not delay treatment if you have received a burn that is larger than three inches or has burned through more than the top layer of skin.
- The first thing you want to do after receiving any type of burn is to stop the burning process. Immediately move away from the source of the burn and rinse the area with clean water that is cool. This is also an important step if the cause for the burn is chemical rather than heat.
- Cover the burned area with a sterile bandage that is dry. Avoid using bandaging material that will stick to the burn or deposit lint such as cotton. Dry gauze that is sterile is the best option for most burns.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help control pain and swelling. This could include ibuprofen,Tylenol, Aleve, or aspirin.
Avoid placing ointments or ice on burns. Ointments can actually cause a burn to become infected and ice can cause further tissue damage. Also, avoid breaking any blisters at the site of the burn. Blisters that have been broken leave you more vulnerable to infection.
The steps above will allow you to successfully treat a first degree or minor burn. If your burn covers more than a three inch area, or has burned through the top layer of skin entirely, seek medical treatment. If the burn covers a large area and is located on the hands, feet, groin, buttocks, face, or over a major joint, seek professional medical attention. If the face has been burned and there is any possibility that smoke or extreme heat could have caused an inhalation injury, call an ambulance immediately. Most minor skin burns can be treated at home and will heal with no problem. Serious burns should always be evaluated by a medical professional.