Burns are incredibly painful. As we enter the summer season, outdoor activities, from campfires to hot exhaust pipes provide ample opportunities for being burnt.
No matter the size, a burn may hurt for days and without the proper treatment, the burn may not heal properly.
While outdoor activities offer many options for burns, most people typically burn themselves while working in their kitchen: by accidentally touching a hot rack while putting something in the oven or by grabbing a hot saucepan by mistake without wearing something protective.
Types of burns
There are various types of burns but they are generally divided up into three distinct categories: first, second, and third-degree burns.
1- First Degree
Known as the most common type, first degree burns normally only involve the upper layer of skin, called the epidermis.
When a first-degree burn occurs, the skin will normally become reddened and may hurt, but the skin will not actually be broken.
2- Second Degree
With a second degree burn, the layer of the epidermis is actually painfully burned off.
The next lower level of the skin, known as the dermis, will become extremely red and there will most likely be lots of swelling and blisters.
Because the layer of skin is actually burned off, second-degree burns are typically much more painful than first degree. If this occurs, make sure to have some type of burn kit or first-aid kit nearby to help ease the pain.
3- Third Degree
As far as a third-degree burn goes, this type of burn would have gone through both the epidermis and dermis to the tissue underneath.
At first, there may be no pain and the area will either be blackened or turn white.
As far as burn treatments go, only a first-degree burn can really be treated fully at home. Second-degree burns should be treated at a doctor’s office while third-degree burns should be taken care of in an emergency room.
Second and third-degree burns will generally be covered in sterile, moist gauze before treatment is performed.
Treatment for Minor Burns
After obtaining a minor burn, such as a first-degree burn, the first step necessary is to hold the burn under cold water for ten to fifteen minutes.
If cold, running water isn’t an option, cover the burn with any type of cold compress that can be found. Be sure if using a cold compress to not put ice directly on the burn. Direct contact may cause frostbite and additional damage.
Even though many peoples’ family members will recommend this, do not put butter on the burn. Butter will work to trap heat within the damaged tissue which may eventually cause an infection.
After cold water or a cold compress, be sure to apply lotion to the burned area. The lotion will help to prevent dryness and may soothe the discomfort.
After moisture has been applied, wrap the burn in a sterile gauze bandage and don’t put too much-added pressure onto the burned area.
Blisters may eventually form but it is important not to pop these. They will disappear on their own. Pain medication may also be utilized.
Treatment for Major Burns
For any type of major burn that isn’t of the first degree, it is best to seek professional medical care.
If burned clothing has adhered to the skin, be sure not to remove it. Until treatment has been done, cover the burned area with a clean cloth or sterile bandage and do not apply any ointments.